Mason stands firm in Folkes dispute - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mason stands firm in Folkes dispute

By Daniel Pace 11/03/2003 06:02:35 AM Comments (0)

Disgruntled Test prop Willie Mason has refused to relent in his dispute with Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes, saying tension would remain high unless he was reinstated to first grade next week.

"I didn't sign for three years to play reserve grade," Mason said in defiance of a media ban slapped on him by the National Rugby League club.

The 115kg prop was dropped from first grade for the Bulldogs' season-opener against South Sydney on Saturday night at Telstra Stadium because Folkes said he had a "bad attitude".

He would have been ruled out anyway with a quadriceps strain but that was not the reason behind his demotion.

Both Folkes and Bulldogs chief executive Steve Mortimer, who met with Mason on Monday to resolve the issue, have described the simmering feud as a "storm in a tea cup".

But Mason, while pleased with his heart to heart chat with Mortimer, said little would change unless he was in the top 17 for the round two clash with New Zealand Warriors in Auckland on Sunday week.

"We'll see what happens next week," said Mason when asked if he had sorted out his differences with Folkes.

"It depends on how the boys go and whether I'm in the side next week whether there'll be another blow-up or not."

Bulldogs legend Mortimer, who played 266 games for the club, offered some "brotherly advice" to Mason following a report that the 22-year-old was seeking a release from the club.

"It wasn't my CEO cap I was wearing," said Mortimer, who had a well-publicised fall-out with then-Canterbury coach Warren Ryan in 1984.

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