Mason jumps at chance to defy doubters

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Huddersfield have rescued Keith Mason from rugby league limbo and brought him straight into their squad to play his former club, St Helens, today.

The former Wakefield, Melbourne and England prop was sent out on loan by Saints to Castleford, but has been left out in the cold at The Jungle this season. A further loan deal, to Wigan, broke down when Saints refused to release him, but now they have agreed to a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Giants.

"I coached Keith at Wakefield and St Helens and I know what he can do. I believe he has the potential to make a big impact on Super League," said the Huddersfield coach, Jon Sharp.

Mason gets an immediate chance to start making up for lost time against one of the clubs which has rejected him.

"I'm really fired-up to relaunch my career and having worked with Jon and Kieron Purtill [Huddersfield's assistant coach] at Saints I know they will bring out the best in me," he said.

Mason and Huddersfield will be up against a Saints side unbeaten this season and going for a club-record 13th Super League victory in a row. They will, however, be without Jason Cayless, who is in Australia with the New Zealand Test side, and possibly without Jamie Lyon, who has an eye injury.

In today's other game, Warrington go to the Catalans Dragons hoping to avenge a shock 28-26 defeat at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in March. The Dragons have had further bad news about their Kiwi scrum-half, Stacey Jones, who they had hoped to have back from a broken arm in time for next week's match at Castleford. The New Zealand international has been told that he will not have another examination on the injury until the middle of next month.

Jones' countrymen had their status as world champions severely dented by a 50-12 defeat to Australia in Brisbane yesterday.

The Kiwis, who beat Australia 24-0 in the Tri-Nations final at Elland Road last November, were over-run in the second half, with Andrew Johns controlling play in his last Test appearance for the Kangaroos.

David Kidwell's try put New Zealand ahead, but Matt Cooper, Mark Gasnier and Timana Tahu gave the hosts the edge.

There was a hint of a fightback when Sonny Bill Williams went over, but Nathan Hindmarsh, Tahu's second, the outstanding Danny Buderus and two from Darren Lockyer completed an emphatic home victory in front of a 44,000 crowd at Suncorp Stadium.

Harlequins will have watched with concern. Their Kiwi scrum-half, Thomas Leuluai, limped off early in the second half with a hamstring injury and must be doubtful for next Saturday's match against Bradford.