Top 14 side Toulon have released Willie Mason after the Australian failed to make an impression with the Amlin Challenge Cup favourites. The 32-year-old crossed-codes after an ill-fated spell playing for Super League outfit Hull KR. However Mason struggled to make an impact in France, with the former Australia RL international appearing in two friendlies and just one Top 14 game - a 19-6 defeat to Montpellier back in September.
Mason will now return to Australia after signing a short-term deal with hometown club Newcastle Knights (25/1 to NRL Grand Final). He said “I am grateful that Wayne Bennett and the club have shown confidence in me and I will not be wasting the opportunity to not only perform on the field but to contribute to the Knights' strong community programmes. “
He added “I am aware that I still have plenty of hard work ahead of me to earn a spot in the NRL team but it is great to be home and playing in front of my family, friends and the Newcastle community."
Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett has won a record number of NRL Grand Finals although his time at the Knights has not begun with immediate success his tenure at St George Illawara Dragons did and his side currently sit in 10th place in the NRL with just 3 wins in 7 games.
Matt Gidley the Knights Chief Executive said "We are pleased to be able to offer Willie an opportunity to re-establish his rugby league career back in his home town. Willie's experience and physical traits will bring confidence to our current squad, particularly our emerging players for which we have very high hopes. “