Mason saga drags on

Willie Mason says he wants his future decided by the end of the week after beginning his own pre-season training yesterday with a solo run at Sydney's Centennial Park.

The disgruntled Bulldogs Test forward held a promising meeting with Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart yesterday while Sydney Roosters chief executive Brian Canavan visited headquarters to discuss salary cap issues which could thwart their bid for Mason.

St George Illawarra confirmed they have one or two positions vacant on their 2008 roster, while English giants Wigan are Mason's only overseas option. Leading Dragons players have even suggested they will take a pay cut so that Big Willie can sign-on at Kogarah.

Less than a week after the club's board gave Mason permission to negotiate with other clubs, the Bulldogs today advised Mason he would need to front a hearing on Tuesday November 20 citing possible contract breaches.

But the hearing is unlikely to go ahead, with Mason only needing to request a contract release to sever all ties to the club.

Mason has been directed not to attend club training or other activities until the matter is resolved.

Meanwhile, Gold Coast recruit Ashley Harrison says the security of a three-year deal is the main reason behind his decision to join the Titans.

The 26-year-old Harrison told his former Roosters team mates about the move north yesterday morning and fronted a press conference on the Gold Coast later in the day.

The Roosters have granted Harrison a release from the final year of his contract to help free up money under the salary cap for the recruitment of Mason.

Titans coach John Cartwright says the versatile Harrison will shore up the five-eighth spot but he can also play as a back-rower if needed. Harrison will start training with the Titans tomorrow.