Moss is looking to gather momentum for London Welsh

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Ready for more: Billy Moss could make his 50th appearance for the exiles this weekend Ready for more: Billy Moss could make his 50th appearance for the exiles this weekend

Should Billy Moss make his 50th appearance for London Welsh on Saturday at Jersey then it will not be before time by his own admission.

Moss joined Welsh in 2011 on a season long loan from Bath and helped the club to Championship success before making the move permanent.

But opportunities in the Premiership were few and far between last season for the former England U20, U19 and U18 international prop forward.

“It’s something I aimed to do a lot earlier, but sometimes things don’t go your way,” said Moss.

“Sometimes those things are your fault, sometimes they’re things you can’t control.

“Things didn’t go that well for me last season, but I’ve been involved a bit more this year. I enjoyed the last two British & Irish Cup games [v Edinburgh Academical] – I got lots of game time and I’m just looking to press on from that.

“Two games back-to-back makes a big difference. You can work on mistakes you’ve made the previous week while they’re still fresh and look to improve.

"Fingers crossed I get a few more back-to-backs in the second half of the season.”

Moss is intent on making up for last season and in the Exiles’ away win at the Accies made sure he avoided the indignity of reaching his half century without a try to his name, by going touching down.

“That would have been embarrassing, even for a prop,” added Moss.

“It actually crossed my mind in the warm up before the game that this could be a game where it might be a possibility, given the scoreline we’d had against them the week before, but I quickly put it to the back of my mind. You get judged on scrummaging, not scoring tries.”

Moss had a 10-minute spell in the sin bin to shelter from the wind and rain at Raeburn Place, before returning to the fray, fresh and eager to end his try drought.

His long awaited moment finally arrived two minutes from time when he went over for Welsh’s fourth try in a 33-7 victory, although it actually came as something of a surprise.

“I took the ball off nine, went through and Richard Thorpe pushed me over the tryline. I went to set the ball back for a ruck and he told me that I was over and that I should just put it down. I owe Richard; I didn’t realise I was over the line,” he said.

Originally from Kent, Moss attended Exeter University where he crossed paths with Rob Baxter and enjoyed pre-seasons training with the Chiefs, before spending two years at Bath in the academy.

Although he left Bath without making a first-team appearance for the club he did gain Championship experience at Bristol.

“I didn’t feel like I was ever a first-team player [at Bath]. When you don’t play you get into a habit of not expecting to. Looking back I probably should have pressed them more for what I should have been doing and what I should have been aiming for, but I learnt a lot from guys like Dave Flatman and Duncan Bell,” said Moss.

Having made the move to Welsh, he racked up 25 appearances in Welsh’s Championship winning campaign, gaining something of a reputation in the loose as a pacey front row forward.

“It was a fun year; we had a good side and I played a lot of games that season. I was about ten kilos lighter and used to hit some lines, but since developing my scrummaging I’ve put on a few more kilos,” he said.

However, 2012/13 saw Moss limited to just three Aviva Premiership appearances as a replacement and he therefore had to content himself with game time in the Amlin Challenge Cup and the LV= Cup.

“I don’t really look back on last season particularly fondly, but sometimes you need a year like that to kick you into gear for a more positive year like this one is,” he said.

“A new fresh look at the club has helped that and a more competitive squad. I think this is a better squad [than 2011/12] – the quality within it is higher.

“I’m confident that we have the ability to get promotion and I think that some of the rugby we’ve played is better than the rugby we played that season. It’s a different style, it’s much more direct but I think that’s what the Championship is.”

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