It was always case of would he sign with them or would it pass him by, but for veteran NRL prop Willie Mason, it eventuated.
That is, a deal with the Catalan Dragons on a 1-year deal. The veteran had a few hiccups during the process but now has a club, and will offer the Dragons side some experience and vigour in the forwards.
At 35, Mason has played more than 300 NRL games and achieved everything in the game. He won the 2004 NRL title, the Clive Churchill Medal and represented both NSW and Australia on numerous changes.
Throughout his NRL career, he played for the Sydney Roosters, the Canterbury Bulldogs, the Newcastle Knights, the North Queensland Cowboys and the Manly Sea Eagles.
He is not a strange to Super League either, having had a previous stint with Hull KR as well as a stint with French rugby side, Toulon.
With all the finer details settled, Catalans coach Laurent Frayssinous says it was about finding a deal that was best for club and player.
“I have never hidden from the fact that I wanted to strengthen our pack. Negotiations with Willie have been long, as in one hand, we had to settle his administrative situation and in the other, find a financial agreement,” said Frayssinous.
“We always set a rule to not spend the money that we do not have and we had to find a compromise with Willie and his agent.
Willie is a player who knows the job a prop has to do.
He is a physical and aggressive player, both in attack and in defence and we have spoken a lot about the quality of our group and he is really excited to join the club.”