Mason plays down talk of Fielden rift - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mason plays down talk of Fielden rift

Wayne Gardiner 09/03/2011 05:46:11 PM Comments (0)

Willie Mason has played down talk of his rift with Wigan's England prop Stuart Fielden, but says he'd be willing to fight his old foe for charity.

The former Australian forward was finally unveiled as a Hull player on Tuesday after a six-month wait due to passport and visa reasons.

The switch from the NRL to the Super League means the 30-year-old will soon come up against Fielden, who he famously knocked out with a single punch during a Test match between Australia and Great Britain in 2006.

That moment was many English fans' first introduction to Mason, while the repercussions were long lasting for Fielden, who quickly lost his reputation as one of the world's most feared forwards and subsequently endured one of the most miserable spells of his career.

With the two set to face each other when Hull host Wigan on April 15, talk has already suggested they could settle their differences in a charity boxing bout, something Mason is not against.

"That's what most people remember, that game," Mason said.

"They think that I've just hit one bloke, not won what I've won.

"They don't realise it was just one little incident in a whole 12-year career. I've been in many fights, rather than just with Stuart Fielden. It was just that good a hit.

"He took time to get over it, it wasn't my fault. I don't even talk about Fielden, everyone just brings it up on him.

"If we get on the field and get in battle again, so be it, I don't care. I leave it on the field.

"I'm worried about playing at the moment, but at the end of the year, if he wants to do a charity thing, boxing or something like that ..."

Mason's reputation as one of the sport's controversial figures helped swell the crowd at his arrival media conference, with a number of fans paying to watch a live stream of the event.

But the player himself insists he is used to being branded a trouble maker and is happy to let people think what they want.

"People get the wrong impression of you all the time in Australia," he said. "It's weird when people bring up my rap sheet because the worst thing I've done in 12 years of playing at the top is urinated in public twice and jumped a cab.

"Sonny Bill Williams (now a New Zealand rugby union international) has done that but because he's made a name for himself, people don't mention it.

"Everyone asks me how I'm going to deal with the fans and the media scrutiny over here.

"I've been under the pump for my whole career. I've never had any alcohol incidents. People get the wrong impression."

Mason's first taste of Super League should come this Sunday against the Crusaders and he is keen to quickly establish himself as one of the best players in the competition.

He said: "I'm here to play and if I don't perform I'll be filthy.

"If I didn't want to play, I wouldn't have come here and want to be one of the best players over here."

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