Rovers play down Mason switch talks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rovers play down Mason switch talks

21/04/2011 08:47:06 AM Comments (0)

UK Super League club Hull Kingston Rovers have played down reports linking controversial Australian forward Willie Mason with a move to French rugby union club Toulon.

Mason is currently playing in England as an overseas player as he awaits the arrival of the Tongan passport which would enable him to come off the import quota, courtesy of the Cotonou trade treaty.

Rovers issued a statement on Wednesday in which they claimed to have moved closer to obtaining the passport with help from Tonga's Prime Minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, and they say Mason will continue to be available for selection.

The statement said: "Progress has been made over recent days with direct support from the Prime Minister of Tonga and a resolution is expected shortly.

"The circumstances surrounding the delay in finalising matters are unique and beyond the club's control.

"Whilst fully appreciating supporters' concerns, it would be inappropriate and potentially prejudicial to a short-term resolution of matters to comment any further at this stage.

"The club will in due course make a full statement on the matter.

"The club are unaware of any approach for Willie Mason from French rugby union and he remains under contract and available for selection."

The Kangaroos' international is just six weeks into a two-year contract with the Robins but, according to reports in France, he visited Toulon last week and held talks with wealthy club president Mourad Boudjellal.

Hull KR de-registered injured Australian scrum-half Michael Dobson to make way for Mason but he is thought to be close to recovering from ankle surgery, leaving the club with a dilemma if the Tongan passport does not arrive quickly.

Mason, who scored his first try for Rovers on his 31st birthday against Wigan last Friday, has been named in coach Justin Morgan's 19-man squad for the Good Friday derby with Hull at the KC Stadium.

Dobson remains on the sidelines along with second-rower Clint Newton, who has failed to recover from a knee injury, but Morgan has called up 18-year-old full-back Louis Sheriff for what would be his debut.

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