Saints lock Moon: I've missed being in the thick of it

"My mum actually said to me that she dreads the first person who's got to be on the receiving end of a tackle or a carry from me this weekend."

By Tom Vickers
Friday, 18th March 2022, 7:00 am
Alex Moon
Alex Moon

Those are the words of Saints lock Alex Moon, who says he has been craving the chance to get stuck into a game after being sidelined with a hand injury.

Moon has not played since early December as he discovered that he had suffered a dislocation and a break that required surgery.

But he is back fit now and desperate to get physical with Saracens in the Premiership Rugby Cup pool-stage clash at StoneX Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

"For me, it's about running into live contact because you can only recreate it so much in training," Moon said.

"It's about feeling bone on bone at full intensity, which is something you sort of crave in a weird way when you're a rugby player.

"You just find yourself craving shoulder on shoulder stuff and there's only so much pad work you can to recreate it.

"It's been so attritional for the boys who are playing so I can't expect them to really front up in training so I can get some collisions in.

"The thing I'm most excited about is being able to feel that contact.

"I think 99 per cent of rugby players are exactly the same - you do just miss being in the thick of it.

"I miss being on the goalline in a three-point stance and having to bury my head into contact.

"You do miss that stuff."

But Moon will miss it no more as he gears up to help a much-changed Saints side battle past Saracens this weekend.

And supporters should see an improved version of the second row forward as he has been working on self-development on and off the field since being sidelined.

"I picked up a hand injury against Bristol away and we didn't think too much of it at the time - I just thought it was a bruised hand," Moon explained.

"I played the Bath game and I just knew something wasn't right so I went off, scanned it and it turned out it was dislocated and broken and it was a bit of a mess.

"I had surgery shortly after that so it's been the longest time I've not played a rugby game since about the age of six or seven, so it's just been bizarre for me.

"It's given me an opportunity to improve on bits and pieces that I probably didn't pay enough attention to or enough time to look at during the season.

"I've had a positive outcome from it and it's not all been doom and gloom.

"I've been able to highlight things I want to get better at and I've spent a lot of time improving.

"It's been a really good experience for me in terms of that."

Moon has made 10 appearances so far this season, starting six times.

And the 25-year-old said: "I felt I was playing rather well at the start of the season.

"I got a few starts in pre-season and in the first game here against Gloucester.

"I got a few bench appearances but just felt I was getting better and better.

"Through the international stuff, boys were away and I got a chance in that lock position and managed to string five or six games together on the bounce.

"I was playing progressively better and better but then the hand went."

So how did Moon spend his time away from the club, considering his hand injury was particularly restrictive?

"My main hobby is golf so I couldn't even do that," he said, smiling.

"I gave up gaming a long time ago so there wasn't that to go back on.

"But I do a strength and conditioning course through the club and I'm close to being qualified from that so it gave me a chance to knuckle down and get ahead on that.

"I used the time rather than having the outlook of not being able to do anything, I used it as a chance to get my coursework done and get this diploma done.

"It was also a good chance to work on my power and speed."