Willie Mason was supposed to be in England with the Tongan rugby league team in preparation for the World Cup, but comments from Tonga's management team suggesting Mason would disrupt the team environment resulted in him withdrawing from the team.
Willie Mason is in NZ this week to promote the inaugural NRL Auckland Nines to take place on February 15-16 at Eden Park.
Mason is on a promotional tour with former Warrior and former Tongan international, Awen Guttenbeil, but felt disappointed with a recent dispute with the Tongan rugby league management.
Willie Mason played three tests for Tonga in 2000 and was considering making himself available for his home team in this year's World Cup.
Mason says he has put things behind him and looks forward to next season and welcoming Russell Packer to his NRL side.
Packer has signed a four-year deal with the Newcastle Knights.