AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Gilgronis leading-scorer Mack Mason knows where he grew up wasn’t the most bustling city.
“So I’m from southwest Queensland, middle of nowhere,” said Mason. “About eight hours west of Brisbane. That’s the closest major city.”
Mason was a standout early on in his native country, making a name for himself in rugby, one of Australia’s biggest sports.
“Probably not even just his opinion but a lot of opinions in Australia that he was the heir apparent to first of all the Waratahs jersey, which is the new South Wales team that he was playing for,” said Gilgronis head coach Sam Harris. “But then that would probably lead into the national team in Australia, the Wallabies.”
That next step to play for the Australian national team didn’t pan out for Mason. He was left looking for something new, leading him to Austin to play with the Gilgronis.
“Yeah it was very refreshing,” said Mason. “I think that was the reason I came over here to be honest. Probably sat dormant for a little while there in Australia. Sort of needed a new start and a fresh start. And no better place to do that than America where sports [are] massive and rugby is just growing.”
One of the best parts about Texas for Mason is the ability to continue living his lifestyle on a ranch. Playing rugby and working in places he likens to, “middle of nowhere,” is meaningful to the Gilgronis’ Flyhalf and Center.
“I never really get down too much because I know once I’m sort of down playing rugby, I’m back to that ranch life,” said Mason. “It’s not too bad. I’m pretty lucky I’ve got to do two things I love.”