Almanac Rugby League: Iosia Soliola, a legend on and off the field!


Iosia Soliola in action for the Newtown Jets against the Auckland Vulcans in 2008.
Photo: Courtesy of Newtown RLFC

 

‘Iosia Soliola is one of the most well-regarded rugby league players I have ever encountered personally or heard of. He was (and is) an absolute champion of a fellow with the Sydney Roosters, Newtown Jets, St Helens and the Canberra Raiders.’ – Glen Dwyer, Director and Media Officer, Newtown RLFC.

 

The Ken Stephen Medal is presented annually ‘to recognise the efforts of an NRL player who has not only achieved on the field, but has committed time off the field to community projects. A player is nominated by their NRL club for going above and beyond in their involvement in charity work, youth development or community support.’ The 2019 recipient of the medal was Iosia Soliola from the Canberra Raiders.

 

Soliola has been involved in various Canberra community projects over the years, his efforts highlighted in an article in The Sydney Morning Herald a few years ago. On Saturday, The Canberra Times reported on Soliola’s most recent crusade to help an old mate, Mose Masoe, in his time of need.

 

Mose Masoe played in the NRL for the Penrith Panthers (2013) and the Sydney Roosters (2010), and also played seven times for Samoa (2013-14). In the English Super League he played for both St Helens and Hull Kingston Rovers. Masoe sustained a serious spinal in jury in a pre-season trial early in 2020, ending his playing career. Since then, it has been and will continue to be a long haul back to anything resembling a normal life. Reports indicate that he is walking again but his general mobility and motor skills remain a work in progress. He and his partner have four young children.

 

Soliola and Masoe go way back to their young days at the Sydney Roosters before they teamed up again at St Helens where they won the 2014 Super League Grand Final against Wigan. Now Soliola is the driving force behind the Men of League’s Stand with Mose campaign to raise funds to support Masoe and his family as they face a mountain of medical and other ongoing expenses. The Easter weekend’s Super League fixtures were dedicated to this same effort.

 

Any readers who might like to make a donation to this cause can do so via this link.

 

Writer’s note: With thanks to Glen Dwyer of the Newtown RLFC for his contribution to this article.

 

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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. As well as being one of Footy Almanac's online editors, I moonlight as an editor for hire - check me out at www.writerightediting.com.au

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