Mason move no surprise to Myles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mason move no surprise to Myles

By Laine Clark 18/06/2009 03:24:38 PM Comments (0)

Nothing Willie Mason does these days surprises his Sydney Roosters teammate Nate Myles.

So when word filtered through that Mason - the same bloke who had considered a move to boxing, then the NFL - was linked to Japanese club rugby, Myles was not exactly gob smacked.

Indeed he saw it coming.

As he prepared with the Queensland team ahead of next week's Origin II showdown at Sydney, Myles said he could understand why his good mate craved another challenge in his sporting life.

Mason has been a shadow of his former damaging self in 2009 as he battles to recover from off-season knee surgery.

It is understood Roosters coach Brad Fittler has given Mason permission to walk away from the final year of his $400,000-a-season deal and leave at the end of 2009.

Mason's manager Greg Keenan is believed to have spoken with several cashed up Japanese rugby clubs.

Asked if he was surprised by Mason's mooted plans, Myles laughed: "Who are we talking about here - nothing surprises me about that bloke.

"Look, Willie is a terrific player and person.

"But I think he has ticked a lot of boxes in rugby league - Clive Churchill Medal winner, premierships, Anzac Tests, Tri Nations, he has done it all.

"And he has played really well in Origin and for Australia.

"It would be no surprise to me if he did go."

At 29, Mason has already earned 13 Origin games for NSW and 24 Tests for Australia since making his first grade debut in 2000.

But he may have become a victim of his own success, according to Myles.

The Maroons forward said Mason may simply not have any more goals to achieve in rugby league.

And it may yet force Mason to say "sayonara" to rugby league and head for Japan.

"I know him very well. I know he is keen to challenge himself and I think it (rugby) is something he has to do for himself," Myles said.

"He has to do what he thinks will excite him."

But Myles added: "However, I would love to see him stay in rugby league.

"It would be a shame to lose such a character.

"And if he does stay in rugby league it will be at the Roosters."

Blues selector Laurie Daley told FoxSports this week that if Mason left for Japan "he hasn't achieved I think what he set out to when he joined the Roosters".

But Myles said a representative return would not be far away for Mason if he decided to remain at Bondi Junction.

"It was a pretty big injury that he suffered, so it was going to be hard for him to come back and get an Origin spot this year," Myles said.

"But he wouldn't look out of place if he got the Blues jersey again.

"And I can see him coming back to his best.

"He is a true athlete, never short of confidence, so I don't think it is a confidence thing.

"He will return to his best."

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