KNIGHTS coach Wayne Bennett is confident former NSW and Australian enforcer Willie Mason will sign a new two-year deal to finish his career in Newcastle.
Mason joined the Knights in April on a short-term contract for this season and has been one of their most consistent forwards since then, providing the grunt and go-forward that had been lacking in the opening rounds.
The 32-year-old Toronto junior has made it clear that he wants to play on beyond this year, and Bennett said after training this morning that a new deal was imminent.
‘‘Willie will re-sign. That will be done,’’ Bennett said.
‘‘It’s just we haven’t put pen to paper and really haven’t discussed a lot of terms but it will happen.
‘‘He’s been wonderful and he’s what we needed ... and there’s no reason why he won’t stay here.’’
Meanwhile, Bennett confirmed Canberra-bound forward Joel Edwards has been omitted from the Newcastle squad to play against Cronulla at Hunter Stadium on Monday night.
The Newcastle Herald reported today that Edwards would not play against the Sharks.
Bennett said the 24-year-old Cessnock junior would be 18th man, effectively making way for the return of former NSW and Australian prop Kade Snowden from a knee injury.
Snowden, who has missed Newcastle’s past five games since tearing the medial ligament in his left knee against Parramatta on June 30, will line up against his former club.