Ben Mosses gives Bristol Rugby cover as injuries begin to take toll
BRISTOL have signed centre Ben Mosses on a dual-registration loan agreement from Bath – but David McIlwaine and Marco Mama have joined the club's lengthening injury list and will miss Friday's trip to Doncaster.
Mosses knows Bristol's players, coaches and systems, having appeared in six games on loan for the club last season, and head coach Liam Middleton has no qualms about calling upon the 21-year-old over the coming weeks.
Middleton is without injured backs Jack Tovey, George Watkins, Fautua Otto, Matt Williams, Adrian Jarvis and Bryan Rennie – all of whom are likely to miss the next month or so of action – while McIlwaine misses Friday's trip to his former club with a head injury.
The head coach was quick to recruit Mosses – who started for Bristol in victories against Bedford and London Welsh last season – to provide emergency midfield cover.
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"Mossy did well for us last season – he was involved in some big victories, against London Welsh and Bedford," said Middleton.
"He's a quality individual and he likes it at the club. He was a big part of our squad last season, so we're really pleased to have him back.
"Mossy trained today and he's straight into the systems, he knows the programme, he's an enthusiastic kid – he brings a lot of infectious enthusiasm to the club. He's not here thinking 'do I have to be here?' He enjoys being in our environment and he's a good addition."
Despite Bristol's injury problems, with Jason Hobson and now Mama (head) also ruled out, and Gaston Cortes and Alafoti Faosiliva yet to arrive in the country, Middleton is ruling out making any further loan signings in the immediate future.
But the head coach does have the scope to bring in further reinforcements if he loses any more players to injury.
"There are options for us, but I'm going to leave it at Ben for now, and stretch and test ourselves a little bit," said Middleton.
"If things change this weekend, I've got the opportunity to look at other options, but at the moment I think that will cover us."