Mason hits out at HKR after rugby move - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mason hits out at HKR after rugby move

01/06/2011 06:08:44 PM Comments (0)

Willie Mason has revealed he left Hull KR for rugby union because he did not want to be treated like "a reject" by the club.

The 31-year-old former Australian and NSW forward was hailed as the Super League's biggest signing last September when the Rovers announced a three-year deal.

But things soon turned sour, with the club unable to create a space from him on their overseas quota and Mason unable to gain entry to the country until March.

Even then it was on a holiday visa, as the club and Mason tried to get him a Tongan passport. When that failed, they deregistered star man Michael Dobson to make way for Mason in the first in a long line of farcical events, which included Mason being deregistered the day before the Hull derby.

When Mason then visited French Top 14 club Toulon on a day off without permission, it was too much for Rovers and they effectively cut all ties with him, with some reports suggesting they had stopped his wages.

He has since joined Toulon, making a surprise debut for the Barbarians against England on Sunday, despite not having played the 15-man code in 16 years.

But Mason claimed he was not to blame for the Hull fiasco and that he was made promises by the club that were not kept.

"I came over here to play for Hull KR and I was happy to stay for the three years and see out my contract," Mason told the Hull Daily Mail.

"I don't want to bag anybody at the club, but I want to set the record straight. I was signed as a quota player. Then I was asked by the club to do them a favour and go down the Tongan passport route.

"I never gave any guarantees about how long it would take, but they wanted to go down that route and here we are today, still without it.

"I didn't come over to be loaned around like some reject, no way.

"Anyone in their right mind would not hang around if they were put in the situation I was.

"It was gut-wrenching being left out for the derby, as that was all that people had talked about since I signed.

"Then all of a sudden, the day before, I was de-registered and had to watch from the bench. That was probably the beginning of the end for me at the club.

"I am fortunate Toulon came along and were willing to offer me a deal to play rugby when I became available, because training on my own every week and not playing rugby was not the deal I signed up to."

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