Huddersfield YMCA have made their first major signing since moving up to the National leagues.
Director of Rugby Damon Scholes has snapped up 25-year-old Irish prop Chris Moore from Halifax club Heath, where he has spent the last four years.
As a 17-year-old, Cork-born Moore was part of the Ireland squad which played in the Schoolboy World Cup in Japan, and Scholes believes he fits the bill perfectly for National III North duty at Laund Hill.
“Chris is a player we have had our eye on for the last 18 months and we are delighted to have got him, especially as we tried to get him last year and just missed out” said Scholes, whose club were promoted in the North I play-off by beating Birkenhead Park, reaching National level for the first time in their history.
“He is keen to try his hand at a higher level now and Chris fits the ethos of our club really well.
“Chris had been very loyal and dedicated to Heath, so we know what we are getting in terms of character, and he already knows quite a few of our lads, so he will slot in straight away.
“There have been inquiries from other clubs about him, but he’s decided to come to us and we are really pleased he’s on board.”
Moore – who has missed only one match in his spell with the Yorkshire I club – is studying to be a mental health nurse at the University of Huddersfield and lives just across the road from the Laund Hill ground with his girlfriend Alison.
“YMCA are extremely passionate about doing well and progressing in the future and the whole package looks amazing,” said Moore, who admits to being a “massive” Munster fan.
“I just fancied stepping up to a higher level to really push myself and develop my own game and, with YMCA sharing the same ethos of non-payment as at Heath, it just seems the ideal move for me at this stage.”
Moore played at National level in Ireland and, in addition to playing against some top-name players, he figured against the likes of England, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, France and Japan in that junior World Cup.
“It was a fantastic experience to go there, really unbelievable,” added Moore, who is now focusing on making an impact in the red and black shirt for a new set of supporters.
“I’ve had a great time at Heath and played a lot of 80 minutes – I think I’ve missed only one game in four years – but now I’ve got a new chapter to look forward to and I wish it was happening tomorrow!
“I’ve played against most of the YM lads in the past and I know some of them extremely well from socialising in the Black Bull, so I know they are a great bunch of lads.
“It’s my opinion that with the same sort of commitment which has been shown over the last few years and some new players added in as well, there is every chance of YMCA enjoying further success.
“What you need is strength in depth and everyone being dedicated and there’s no reason why we can’t progress in another year – there’s certainly nothing holding us back.”
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