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Willie Mason

For most NRL clubs, the bye is met with mixed emotions.

Some players are happy with the much needed rest, while others use the one-week period as a chance to hone skills or confidence depending on their position on the competition table.  

Speak to veteran prop Willie Mason though and he'll tell you coach Wayne Bennett has a clear opinion on how teams should utilise the mandatory week off.    

According to Mason, Bennett believes a complete switch-off from the full-on nature of professional footy is vital. 

It's a train of thought the veteran mentor has long possessed, dating back to his highly successful stint at the Brisbane Broncos and continuing today at Newcastle.

This was particularly on display last season when the Knights won six of their remaining 10 matches on the back of a well rested bye. 

Mason hopes his side can receive similar benefits from the bye again this season.

"It’s really important the bye and Wayne knows that and he understands that," Mason says.

"That’s why he gives us the whole week off and we can go home and see our family and friends.

"Some coaches don’t really understand the meaning of the bye and they just make you train three or four times a week and you’re not really getting a break.

"When you're around the boys every single day from pre-season in November, you get sick of each other.

"Wayne knows that and he gives you the whole week off and it actually makes you want to come back to training."

Mason and his teammates are clinging to the hope that's the case when they resume from their break refreshed and ready to fire on Monday.