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Willie Mason

Willie Mason has just turned 34 and regularly jokes that father time is catching up with him, but popular prop is in the form of his life.

Now in his 13th season in the NRL, Mason has proven age is no barrier with the bookend making over 100 metres in the past three matches.  

Asked how he felt after training on Tuesday, the veteran prop said he was feeling good despite his ageing legs.  

"Well I got put in the rehab pools and I didn't have to run, so that made me feel old," Mason grinned.

"Me, Jez (Jeremy Smith), Beau Scott and Jimmy Mac got rested a bit today because of the short turnaround, not because of the age." 

Mason may no longer be a fresh-faced rookie, but he is still making plenty of impact. 

This was certainly on display against the Raiders last Saturday, with the former Test and Origin enforcer setting a significant platform up front to help the Knights record a hard fought 26-12 victory.  

Mason started on the bench and came on and made 119 metres and 16 tackles in 37 minutes, a role he is more than happy to continue with in the coming weeks.

"It’s a discussion between he (Wayne) and me every week and did depending on who we are playing," he explains.

"I think in this day and age it’s a 17-man game and it always has been, but I think with our team now we start games really well.

"Not too many teams are getting blown off in the first 20 minutes, all the way to the 70 minute mark where you’ve got to be good.

"That’s where you are winning the games.

"Zane (Tetevano) does a good job starting, so does Snowy and so do I, so we’ll have a bit of a rotation thing.

"With me playing off the bench it gives a lot more impact off the bench and a lot more punch and experience so I can just sit back and watch the game and not run into brick walls in the first 20 minutes.

"So I’ll probably play another three years (laughs)."

Asked about the prospect of returning to the Origin arena for the first time since 2008, Mason admitted he'd be more than happy to put his hand up for another blue jersey.

In saying that, he says he won't stand in the way of a young player if selectors opt to pick them instead.

"Look with my position in representative teams as I’ve said before, I think I’m tried and tested at all levels and I’m proven at any level," he says frankly.

"I think my best thoughts are with Newcastle and if I play my best with Newcastle, usually all the other rep jerseys and things like that flow my way.

"But if you are not doing a job for Newcastle or whatever club team you play for, you are not going to get anything.

"NSW has got a pretty good team and if I can help along the way I would, but if not then Ill just stick to playing well for Newcastle.

"I don’t want to be that old dude putting my hand up, saying ‘pick me in Origin’.

"I despise that, so I think Loz (Laurie Daley) and the selectors know what I can do, but I’m not going to be sitting back saying, ‘pick me’ because if they don’t, they don’t."

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