Via Warriors Media
The Vodafone Warriors have today confirmed halfback Mason Lino has been granted a release to continue his NRL career in Australia.
The 24-year-old was recently given permission to test the market after making just 17 NRL appearances since his debut late in the 2015 season.
“It’s not an easy decision to let Mason go because he is the epitome of a true club man and we all love having him around,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.
“He has been totally dedicated to the Vodafone Warriors but we didn’t want to stand in the way of him having a look at options with other clubs.
“His opportunities for NRL football have been limited here and he has more than earned the right to look at the chance of more regular exposure.
“While we’re sorry to see Mason go we’re also excited for him and wish him all the best.”
Vodafone Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney said Lino had demonstrated the values the club stood for.
“Mason has always provided a wonderful example to everyone at the club,” he said.
“He has been totally loyal and supportive in all he does. When we needed him he came into the side and did a really good job for us every time.
“He certainly goes with our blessing and leaves a tremendous legacy.”
Coming through the Vodafone Warriors’ development system, Lino debuted for the club’s National Youth Competition side in 2012.
“It’s tough leaving the club because it has been my home and I’m so thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had here but I’m also excited about what’s ahead for me,” he said.
Lino finished his NYC career with more than 500 points in 62 games from 2012-2014 and added another 65 matches and more than 400 points for the Intrust Super Premiership side since his debut in the grade in 2014.
He scored three tries in eight games at NRL level this year as an injury replacement for Shaun Johnson and Blake Green.
Lino granted release.
— Vodafone Warriors (@NZWarriors) September 25, 2018
Via Newcastle Knights Media
Mason Lino has agreed to join the nib Newcastle Knights from 2019.
The Warriors halfback has signed a two-year-deal with the Club which sees him in the red and blue until at least the end of 2020.
Knights Player List Manager Troy Pezet said the addition of Lino provides genuine competition for positions with Lino able to play half and five-eighth.
“Mason is a talented young man,” Pezet said.
“He provides us with good depth for Mitchell, Kalyn and Connor.”
Contracted to the Warriors for next season, the Auckland based team has agreed to an early release, so Lino can pursue an opportunity with the Knights.
A Samoan international, Lino made his NRL debut for the Warriors in 2015 where he has played 17 top grade games.
Scoring three tries in eight games last season, Lino is also a goal-kicker.
“Mason has a lot of strings to his bow,” Pezet continued.
“Not only does he have a handy kicking game but he’s a sharp goal-kicker too.”
— Newcastle Knights (@NRLKnights) September 25, 2018