Big Willie Mason lands in England - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Big Willie Mason lands in England

Tom Wald, AAP London Correspondent 08/03/2011 08:21:45 AM Comments (0)

Luckily Willie Mason is used to being the centre of attention.

As Hull KR are banking on the former NRL big man making a massive impact on and off the field for them this English Super League season.

The jet-lagged star touched down at Manchester Airport on Monday afternoon and was met on arrival by television cameras, an unusual scenario for a rugby league player joining up with a Super League side.

"I'm sorry it took so long," said Mason after visa dramas delayed his arrival in England by several months.

"I'm looking to repay fans on the field and I can't wait to play.

"It's been a long while coming.

"I've been looking forward to it for a good three or four months.

"It's good to get off the plane and to be here is exciting. I just can't wait to get out there and play."

There is enormous hype surrounding the 30-year-old's arrival with the ex-Canterbury, Roosters and North Queensland enforcer's face already welcoming visitors to the club's website despite him never having kitted up for them.

The Rovers are offering fans the chance to watch a live streaming of Mason's maiden press conference on Tuesday at a bar at Craven Park for STG2 ($A3.20) a head.

The club shop is already stacked full of Mason's No.23 jersey.

If fans have not had their fix of the former Origin and Test forward, there is Friday's evening with Willie Mason with a table of ten costing STG600 ($A960).

But that is not all.

On Saturday, the club is holding a "Watch Willie" session at Craven Park before he makes his expected debut off the bench against the Celtic Crusaders on Sunday.

Entry will be STG5 per adult and STG2 per junior/concession for the training session.

There is plenty to be done on the field as well for Mason, given Hull KR has dropped three of their opening four matches of the Super League season.

He says he's feeling in great shape.

"I'm feeling fit," he said.

"I'm in probablythe best nick I've been in ages."

Mason will front his first press conference at Craven Park at midday on Tuesday (2300 AEDT).

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