“The coach was a bit of a d*ck” – Willie Mason on why he retired during Super League stint

Willie Mason had too spells in Super League.

The big Australian forward played six games in an ill-fated short spell at Hull KR and then he joined Catalans Dragons in 2016 in a star-studded, if a little old, squad that promised a lot.

However, it was his time at the Dragons that caused him to retire as he didn’t find it fun anymore and described then coach Laurent Frayssinous as “a bit of a d*ck” as he spoke to St Helens legend James Graham on The Bye Round podcast.

“As soon as it wasn’t fun for me and it felt like a job, I retired,” Mason told Graham, “On that day, I was in the south of France, in Perpignan, I had a little bit of an injury, the coach was a bit of a d*ck and I just couldn’t cop his s**t. I went to Ibiza for the weekend, so I was thinking really clearly,” he joked, “and went ‘I’m done’.

“We won 17 or 18 games in a row and then summer hit and everything went pear-shaped. I had a bit of an injury and it didn’t feel like fun for me anymore, I was 36 and never went back to training. That was it, the end. A good way to go out.”

He explained further his relationship with Frayssinous claiming that the now St Helens assistant coach overcoached the group of players at the Dragons: “We had a coach who was obviously French and I told him at the start, I said. ‘Look I understand the crew that we’ve got here, we’ve got a pretty loose gang here that you’ve got to manage a lot of these guys. Dave Taylor’s 28, Todd Carney is like 29, Gifty was about 33, I’m 36. Krisnan Inu was about 30, there’s Pat Richards as well.

“I said, ‘Look this team can kill it but if you try and overcoach and all this kind of stuff, you’ll lose the group. I can help you with that or I could be your worst f***ing enemy and just be with the group and they’ll do what I’m doing’.

“He just thought he could control everything, we started winning then he started putting all the younger French kids, then he started putting us in, dropping players and I said ‘you’re going to f**k the season up’ and he did and then he got sacked.

“He couldn’t let his ego slide. I said to him, ‘if you try and become this dominant and tyrannical sort of coach, then no one is going to listen. We all have attitudes and you can bring the best out of it or ruin it, and he ruined it. We could have won it that year, we had a good team.”

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1 month ago

Speaking of ego and aforementioned appendage, I can only comment – it takes one to know one