Hull Kingston Rovers' new signing Willie Mason says he turned down the chance to carry on in the NRL in favour of joining the Robins.
The 30-year-old Australia international was Rovers' big winter signing but his arrival was delayed by visa problems.
"I could easily have backed out of the deal and stayed in the NRL," Mason told BBC Radio Humberside.
"But I don't want to play there anymore. I've played at the top there for 12 years and I need another test."
The former North Queensland Cowboys prop joins KR as a non-quota player after he was granted a Tongan passport following a personal visit to the King of Tonga.
Mason, who was born in New Zealand to a Tongan mother, had been registered with the Rugby Football League as a non-Federation trained player but does not count on the five-strong quota that applies in Super League.
"It's been a long time since I signed and there's been some red tape to cut through but I'm delighted to finally be here," Mason continued.
"I knew I was going to end up in Hull but it got a bit frustrating not training with the team. Out there today was the first time I passed the ball to another bloke in four months."
Mason has been keeping fit with the help of a personal trainer in Sydney while his visa problems were resolved and told the Craven Park news conference it was the club's Australian connections that convinced him to move.
"Hull welcome their Australian players very well. Clint Newton's here, Joel Clinton, Mick Vella and I knew Morg's [head coach Justin Morgan] after playing against him so I thought if I'm going to make a move this far I wanted to be comfortable."
Morgan was delighted with the early impression his new man had made at his first training session.
"He's a larger than life character but more importantly a world-class international rugby league player," he said.
"We've seen today, when we've only been out for half an hour, the energy he's brought to the team is just fantastic.
"I just can't wait to see him out on the pitch and I know all the fans are very excited about seeing him play."
Mason could make his debut in Sunday's Super League clash with Crusaders and is eager to get his first taste of a competition he has admired from afar.
"I've always wanted to test myself in the Super League," he added.
"I always watched it as a young bloke. I watched the Challenge Cup, I watched the Grand Finals and touring over here three or four times I love the crowd and the passion over here.
"The only way you get that sort of power and passion at home is if you play State of Origin or if you play one of the English teams."
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