Marshall eyes Union switch

Date published: July 15 2013

Rugby League star Benji Marshall's future in the code looks uncertain as he eyes a switch to Super Rugby.

Rugby League star Benji Marshall's future in the code looks uncertain as he eyes a switch to Super Rugby.

The West Tigers player is now seeking an early release from his contract and a new challenge with the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015 on the horizon, combined with revisiting a dream of playing for the All Blacks.

''Growing up, it was a dream of mine to play for the All Blacks. That changed and I started playing rugby league. But I'll consider rugby, absolutely,” said Marshall to Fairfax Media earlier this month.

''To my knowledge, I'd done a deal to stay at the Tigers until 2017, but with the changes to the CEO and the club, they've informed me that won't be the deal any more. I've got a lot of things to weigh up.”

''I've had a conversation with the chief operating officer Grant Mayer, and I've advised him of Benji's decision,'' said Marshall's manager Martin Tauber to the Sydney Morning Herald.

''Benji will play out the balance of the 2013 year but will seek an early release.

“This has been a very difficult decision. This young man has given 12 years of his football life to a club that he has great regard and affection for.

''However with what's transpired, he believes it's time for him to take up another challenge, for what will basically be the next five years of his life.

“We have many regrets but we understand that the club has a business to run. It's unfortunate that it has come to this. It would be remiss of us not to express our thanks to a number of the board members, and the chief operating officer for all their considerations.

''Benji has always stated that he would not play for another rugby league club, as he felt great thanks to all the sponsors who have supported him, and the fan base who have always cheered him on.''

Marshall's club coach Grant Mayer is naturally disappointed with his star player's decision, but praised the impact he had made in NRL over the last 12 years.

“Benji is a fantastic role model not only for the club but for the game as a whole,” said Mayer.

“I believe no one person who has watched the game over the past 12 years would have one negative thought about what he's done for this
great game.

“Wests Tigers are obviously disappointed with the decision. We understand that he has broader things to consider than simply himself,
and we wish him all the very best.

“A request for a release is something that we would have to consider. No doubt the board will do this very quickly.

“We are extremely confident, no matter what the outcome, Benji will continue to be first class both on and off the field for Wests Tigers for the rest of this season.”