With the help of club coach, Wayne Bennett, the Newcastle Knight will play his first big time match since turning out for Country Origin in 2010.
Bennett selected Mason as one of his “coach’s picks” for the upcoming match at Suncorp Stadium. A reward for an impressive season at Newcastle where Mason received the coach’s award from Bennett, no doubt one of the most prestigious individual awards a Knight could be given.
If Bennett believes in Mason, New South Wales Blues coach Laurie Daley and the rest of the state should take note.
Mason has been on a mission since returning to the NRL and if anyone can get under Queensland’s skin, it is Mason.
Daley, who will coach the Indigenous All Stars, apparently already has Mason in his plans.
“I spoke to Wayne before about Willie,” Daley said after the All Stars announcement.
“He’s a player who adds experience and size and we could do with a bit more size in the front row for NSW.
“He’s a guy who needs to continually play well and, if he does, who knows what will happen?”
Does Willie need any more motivation to rip and tear in 2013? After all, this is the same man who once called Queenslanders “nutbag rednecks.”
The Blues are closing in on Queensland. Someone like Mason, a man undoubtedly out to finish his career with a bang, will give everything for a Blues series victory.
Form permitting, you would have to be crazy not to give Willie a chance to saddle up with Paul Gallen on the frontline and pull on that sky blue jumper once again.
He isn’t a role model and he is certainly no saint. But Mason is a character and a guy who will lead from the front.
He expects to be bashed by the opposition and we expect him to give it back. Better still, he loves his state and despises Queensland. The idea of Queensland anyway.
There has almost been too much respect for the Maroons through their seven straight series wins. Sure there have been the usual brawls and hatred. But when things got really tough, the Blues wilted.
Mason has tasted series success. He knows what it takes to win.
Nobody is saying make him captain-coach and nobody is saying he even has to start. But pick him on the bench and let the leash off after 20 minutes.
If this is his last crack, his last shot at representative immortality, who is to say he won’t do what many say he can’t?
Willie Mason can help us win the Origin series. You don’t have to like it. Just think about.
Published on theroar.com.au