Sam Moore attended Merchant Taylors’ School in Crosby and has represented England at under-16s, 17s, 18s, 19s and 20s level as well as being included in the senior squad in February 2018.
Being the son of Steve Moore and the nephew of Andy Moore, both former Welsh internationals, you would be forgiven for thinking that Sam Moore has only ever had rugby on his mind, but the idea of a future in the game only came about following his release from Everton FC’s academy set up.
“I started rugby at the age of 13 which is pretty late compared to most.
“I never really thought about any pathway other than football.
“When that came to an end I thought I would give rugby a go just for enjoyment but ended up taking to it straight away and progressed quicker than expected,” the twenty-two year-old told MerseySportLive.
With his father and uncle having such a prestigious career in the game and earning a combined 29 caps for The Dragons, the Cardiff born back-rower revealed that he never felt any pressure to follow in their footsteps:
“No pressure at all.
“My family has always said to me they’ll support me no matter what route in life I would take.
“If anything, it’s only helped me progress with my rugby. I’ve gained knowledge from an early age and been given great advice at every hurdle I’ve encountered.”
The former Sedbergh School pupil joined Cardiff Blues from Sale Sharks in January of last year, but following the disruption of fixtures due to Covid-19 and numerous injuries, Moore has only appeared three times for his new side.
It's been a brilliant few weeks of re-signings here at Cardiff Blues ✍️
But you've been dying for more, so we've given you Moore… 😏 pic.twitter.com/bMgkw0SwFy
— Cardiff Blues (@cardiff_blues) January 27, 2020
Although it wasn’t a move he was necessarily looking for, returning to his place of birth and a side that his father and uncle both played for suited him at this stage of his career.
“I struggled with injuries at Sale and wanted a fresh start with new challenges.
“When I was looking at certain avenues to go down, a couple of Welsh clubs were very interested in signing me and it was a no brainer that Cardiff Blues was my best choice.”
Moore is no stranger to injuries and setbacks. He is currently in the middle of yet another rehabilitation programme, this time a 12-week long schedule that will allow him to recover from a torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).
He admitted that time off the pitch can be mentally challenging, but being surrounded by the right people can make the challenge easier.
“Mentally, rehab can be a very lonely place and you need to make sure you surround yourself with the right core of people giving the correct advice.
“The biggest advice I can give anyone is to try and stimulate your brain as much as possible when away from the club to keep you occupied.
“Rehab can be a very tedious and repetitive process so it is important that you mix it up when given the opportunity.”
Weighing over 17 stone and a towering presence at 6”6, England Head Coach Eddie Jones compared Moore’s ability to that of the All Black’s Kieran Read during his involvement in the senior squads training camp in 2018.
Moore said: “I’ve always looked up to Kieran Read as the stand out number eight for many years.
“He’s more of a ball player in the wider channels with the ability to make something out of nothing.
“He’s also known for his sleek handling skills and footwork in the contact area for such a big guy.
“I also try to make these my best traits and focus on them just as much as my work ones.”
Moore described the five days he spent at the English camp as invaluable and the attention to detail as something that blew him away.
“I was only involved in the camp for 4/5 days but was a great insight into the professionalism and hard work it takes to be involved in such a set up.
“The clarity that goes into every detail is second to none, with every player knowing exactly what is expected from them.”
The former Waterloo RFC man can still opt to play for Wales at senior level under current World Rugby regulations.
Featured image courtesy of Twitter: @cardiff_blues