Bradford admit interest in loan move for Willie Mason

Willie Mason
New Zealand-born Willie Mason began his career with Canterbury Bulldogs

Bradford are poised to offer Willie Mason a sensational way back into Super League - less than a fortnight after he was left in limbo at Hull KR.

Mason, 31, who finally joined Rovers on a two-year deal in March, was de-registered to make way for the return of fit-again scrum-half Michael Dobson.

But, although Mason remains linked with a move to union side Toulon, injury-hit Bradford are keen on a loan deal.

Bulls chairman Peter Hood said: "It is an idea that we may want to explore."

He told BBC Radio Humberside: "I propose to try and speak to Neil Hudgell, the Hull KR chairman, when we get back to business tomorrow and we will see where that conversation takes us.

"It is the case that Bradford has a spare quota spot and we have headroom in the salary cap, so it is a possibility.

"We have taken a number of long-term injuries in the pack and then we have a lot of young guys who are Super League stars of the future but whose average age is 19-20.

"It is an opportunity possibly worth exploring given who Willie is, what he has done in the past and given our predicament at the moment.

"But, suffice to say, the clubs would need to come to commercial terms, there would be the issue with the UK Borders Agency of the necessary work permit. And last, but by no means least, the player would need to want to do this and convince Mick Potter that it was in Bradford's interest."

Mason made only six appearances for Hull KR before being de-registered over the Easter weekend, when reports of his mooted cross-code move to big-spending Toulon began to multiply.

Bradford, already without Nick Scruton and Jamie Langley, lost French international Olivier Elima on Sunday with a knee injury, which looks set to keep him out six weeks.

Added to that, Paul Sykes will also miss six weeks with a badly-torn hamstring, Matt Diskin has a shoulder injury and winger Shaun Ainscough is missing for between four and six weeks with ankle ligament damage.

But they could face competition from high-flying Castleford, who last week lost Craig Huby with a fractured kneecap and also have room on both their salary cap and overseas quota.

The Robins, who are still paying Mason his reputed £100,000-a-year salary, are ready to cut their losses and could be open to a loan deal.

But Mason is still awaiting his Tongan passport and would need special dispensation from the Rugby Football League to be registered a second time.

Meanwhile, Hood has confirmed that Bradford are interested in re-signing stand-off Leon Pryce from St Helens.

Hood revealed that he sought permission in the close season to speak to the 29-year-old Great Britain international, who is out of contract at the end of this year and is also thought to be interesting Catalan Dragons.

"I asked permission last year to speak to Leon and was denied," Hood commented. "Of course we would be interested if he became available because we are interested in quality players."

Bradford-born Pryce, currently sidelined with a groin injury, played for the Bulls from 1998 before signing for Saints in 2006, featuring in five Grand Finals.

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