The 35-year-old former Australia international will make his Catalans debut against champions Leeds Rhinos in Perpignan on Saturday evening, a fortnight after finalising a return to First Utility Super League on a 12-month deal.

Mason, who made six appearances in a curtailed spell with Hull KR in 2011, was a free agent after being released by Manly Sea Eagles at the end of last season, but said he was urged to take up the offer from the French club by Bennett, who handed him a path back to the NRL with Newcastle Knights four years ago.
Wille Mason
“I had a decision to make,” he said. “This is my 17th year in professional rugby league.

“I talked to Wayne Bennett, who is one of my mentors who I ring up a lot for advice, and he said, ‘Go, it’s the best thing for you. You’ve done everything in the game, you came back and proved everybody wrong again. Now it’s up to you to finish your career the way you want to finish’.

“Not many people get the chance to do that. You retire because you get pushed out of the game, but I go on my terms.

“I could have stayed in the NRL, but I wanted to come here and to win something.

“The easy option was to stay in Aussie and do maybe one more year or some media, but this is such a great club. I look at the great Australian players who have worn the Catalan jersey and I want to be up there one day.”