Tumut stalwart Jock Mason will run out onto Jarrah Park for the last time on Saturday after almost 20 years in the top grade.
Mason will farewell the ground he’s split plenty of blood on when the Bulls take on Leeton in the last round before finals.
It’s not the first time Mason has announced his retirement, however the 36-year-old is determined it’s his time to bow out gracefully.
“I’ll try a bit harder this time,” Mason said.
“I’ve only had a couple of serious ones, there has been a few cries for help in there.
“They are claiming its five, six or seven but I think I’ve only tried twice and not for a couple of years.”
Mason was going to give the game away after the 2012 season but decided to continue on with the club he’s been apart of for 20 years.
With 19 seasons in first grade, include a number as captain and one as coach, Mason has decided he wants a clean break from the club he’s devoted so much time to.
He’s made a big impact off the field as well as part of the Bulls committee for the last 15 years but is going to concentrate on junior rugby union.
Mason won’t be too far away from the Bulls on game days but is going to step down from the committee and coach the under 11 team and will also take on the presidency of the junior club.
Chalking up around 350 first grade games in his time in red and black, injuries are also starting to take its toll.
“It’s been a pretty good run but the injuries are also adding up,” Mason said.
“My knees are giving me trouble, my shoulders are giving me trouble and my back (too).
“It’s all starting to catch up with me in the last couple of years.”
Originally a halfback, the 36-year-old then moved into breakaway before taking up a position as hooker in the latter years of his career.
Anticipating he would have an impact role off the bench this season, Tumut’s injury concerns have seen him play across the forward pack.
The Bulls are enjoying one of its most successful seasons, currently in third, and Mason is looking to end his playing days in first grade.
“I’ve enjoyed playing as many years as I have in first grade and don’t really want to play lower grades,” he said.
“I think I’d prefer to retire in first grade and if I want to do that with any dignity I think it would be best done this year without getting the tap on the shoulder next year and being told you’re not up to scratch anymore.”
After going through some bad years at the club, when it was on the brink of collapse, the timing feels right now for the 36-year-old.
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