Published On: Mon, Oct 27th, 2014

Manly sign Willie Mason, Feleti Mateo; release Anthony Watmough | Sport |

Manly sign Willie Mason, Feleti Mateo; release Anthony Watmough | Sport |
Willie Mason finds yet another home in the NRL. Photograph: Matt Blyth/Getty Images

Manly have signed former Test forward Willie Mason and Warriors star Feleti Mateo, and confirmed stalwart Anthony Watmough’s release from the NRL club.

Manly chairman Scott Penn revealed the three big-name squad changes on Tuesday when the club also unveiled former South Sydney and Chelsea FC administrator Joe Kelly as their new chief executive.

The shake-up up comes following Monday’s sacking of general manager David Perry as part of an ownership restructure.

Penn also dismissed talk that coach Geoff Toovey was under pressure to retain his job and said that club captain Jamie Lyon would see out his distinguished career at the Sea Eagles.

Lyon has signed a contract extension, meaning he and fullback Brett Stewart will both be at the Sea Eagles until at least the end of the 2016 season.

Penn added he was “very confident” New Zealand international Steve Matai, who earlier this year sought a release from the club during a season of off-field bickering, would soon also sign a contract extension.

Matai is currently committed until the end of 2015 and Toovey is hopeful the classy centre will remain long-term.

In a third signing on what Penn declared a turning point for the club, Manly secured the services of Cronulla’s Siosaia Vave for two years.

But confirmation that Watmough is leaving with one year remaining on his contract disappointed Toovey.

“Anthony is a local junior, a two-time premiership winner and a life member of the Club. I’m disappointed to lose a quality player such as Anthony Watmough,” Toovey said.

“He has been an integral part of the success here at Manly for many years.

“We wish him all the best for the future and thank him for his service to the Sea Eagles.”

Watmough made 20 appearances for Manly this season, his last match coming against South Sydney in the qualifying final loss at Allianz Stadium.

Watmough played eight matches for the Northern Eagles in 2002 before playing 278 times for Manly.

He was a member of the club’s 2008 and 2011 grand final-winning teams and has represented NSW on 14 occasions and Australia 16 times.