IT has been a long road, but Gareth Moore has finally reached Super League – and he is determined to stay there.
The former Leeds Rhinos academy player made his top-flight debut for Wakefield Trinity Wildcats at Salford City Reds a week ago – almost two months after joining the club from Batley Bulldogs.
He is set to make his home debut in Sunday’s clash with Huddersfield Giants and the goal-kicking play-maker vowed not to give up his spot without a fight.
“I want to stay in the team from now on,” Moore said. “I will do my utmost to do that.
“There’s a lot of competition at Wakefield, as lot of good players, but hopefully I can keep producing good performances and keep getting selected.”
Moore, 22, spent three years in Rhinos’ lower grades and had spells on loan at Halifax and York before joining Batley in 2010.
He signed for Wakefield on a two-year contract in April and said: “I am enjoying it, I’ve been here nearly two months now and I’ve learned so much.
“I got my opportunity last Friday, which I thank John (coach John Kear) for and that was a big step for me. I have waited a long time.
“I went to Batley from Leeds, which was disappointing, but I enjoyed my time there. I got the (Championship) young player of the year award and I hoped after that I would get a Super League chance.
“When the chance to come to Wakefield came up, it was too good to turn down.
“It was a disappointing result last week. I couldn’t get on the front foot. I didn’t get as much ball as I wanted, but hopefully we can fix that this week.
“I defended well, which I concentrated on and hopefully I will get a bit more ball this week and I can show a bit more of what I can do.”
Giants are formidable opposition, but Moore reckons it could be a good time to play them.
He said: “They are a good team, but they have got a few players missing. Hopefully we can capitalise on that and take it to them. We’ve got to get going forward first before we can start spreading the ball about, but hopefully we can get them on the back foot.”
Moore is now full-time at Wakefield, but is still helping out with his father Darren Moore’s Batley-based sportswear business XBlades.
Meanwhile, Wildcats will be without hooker Julian Rinaldi for Sunday’s game.
Kear said the Frenchman has been ruled out due to a recurrence of a persistent shoulder problem.
“We’ve been jabbing him up and he has been playing,” Kear said. “But we have been advised that we need to sit him down and leave him out until he is fully recovered.”
Kear confirmed Wildcats are “very near to agreeing” terms with a prospective recruit – but he said Semi Tadulala’s chances of returning to Wakefield are fading.
“People kept talking about Semi Tadulala,” Kear said. “But it might be that we have pulled one out of the woods.
“I think he’s a good player, so it would be quite exciting – but nothing’s done or dusted yet and we’ll keep our traps shut until it is.”
Of Tadulala – who has been released by Leeds Carnegie Rugby Union Club – he said: “We were speaking to him, but we’ve agreed nothing at the minute and we may well have turned our attentions elsewhere.”
Carnegie have also released former Warrington Wolves and New Zealand winger Henry Fa’afili. Kear is aware of the player’s availability, but would say only: “He is a good player, he scored a lot of tries for Warrington in days gone by.”