Of all the horse trading Moseley did in a summer of almost unprecedented pack reshuffling, the recruitment of coach Dave Hilton is looking like the most crucial appointment of all.

The former Scotland international has filled in with remarkable expertise when front row resources have been stretched to the point where the next cab off the rank has been his 42-year-old self.

He is also developing the club's younger models and according to tighthead Craig Voisey is a big reason why the development of aspiring hopefuls like Stefan Thorp - and albeit to a lesser extent - Ethan Waller, has been such a welcome surprise.

Voisey believes the knowledge gleaned from 42 Test caps and a stellar club career with Bath and Bristol means Hilton commands automatic respect and admits the player coach has helped him develop his own skills

"He knows his scrummaging and boys that come up really listen to him," Voisey said. "Being a forwards coach is a difficult thing, if you haven't played in the front row you can't really be a scrummaging coach. But to be fair that's what we need.

"There are certain technical things that he knows you wouldn't otherwise know if you hadn't played there.

"Look at Stef, he is a good player, there is no doubt about that, but would have made the step up quite so quickly and well without Hilts? I'm not sure he would.

"And he is helping me out massively. My time here has been split between the two positions and my tighthead skills probably aren't quite where they should be because I have had to balance it. Whereas now, if the loosehead steps round he'll tell me what to do, he knows how he has been counteracted in games and he passes that on.

"And as a player he can still scrum, coming on against Doncaster in moulded studs, you could notice the impact he had. Experience counts for a lot."

Indeed Voisey sees Hilton's arrival as vital to Moseley's prospects. With a limited budget they have found the market-place for front rowers a difficult place in recent years.

As a result they have had to depend on journeymen and untested youngsters and while it has paid off in some instances, like Colin Quigley's late-season renaissance last term and Thorp's accelerated development this, in others it hasn't.

"There is such a shortage you have got to grow your own, scour, see who's around and give people chances. Fair play to Stef he has done well with his.

"There aren't props around, there is a massive, massive shortage. There aren't many coming through and the young ones that do are snapped up. Look at the young boys we are meant to have had from Northampton, because there aren't many props - they have been flogged, having back ops before they are 23-24.

"Ethan has come in and done well and been put on to a senior contract and I wonder if we will see him again." Moseley are, though, optimistic Tom Warren will soon be available.