AN EMOTIONAL Benji Marshall has opened up on his rollercoaster rugby league career & the return “home” to Wests Tigers



  • AN EMOTIONAL Benji Marshall has opened up on his rollercoaster rugby league career and the return “home” to Wests Tigers, while revealing the one regret that still haunts him.

    The 32-year-old club favourite has moved back to Leichhardt, four years after walking away from the game for a controversial move to rugby.

    He told 20FOUR he cried when Tigers coach Ivan Cleary agreed to bring him onto the books and complete his remarkable full-circle, which has seen him play for the Auckland Blues, St George Illawarra, and Brisbane in the four years since last wearing the orange and black.

    He played 201 games for the Tigers and led the club to a premiership in 2005.

    “I cried, I’m not going to lie. I got very emotional when I thought about what it would be like to come back,” Marshall told 20FOUR.

    “This is the first time I’ve been back since I signed and I still get goosebumps. I’ve got a lot of memories that go through my head.

    “People sitting on rooftops of the houses watching … the amount of attention you get walking through the gates from the fans, the same people who are in the same place every week. It’s crazy.”
    But Marshall’s memories from Leichhardt are not all rosy.

    In fact he admits he felt “angry” towards the end of his previous stint with the Tigers, which ended in him walking out on his contract to join Super Rugby in a shock defection.

    Marshall is believed to have been unhappy at the Tigers not offering him a contract upgrade as the club looked to blood emerging playmakers Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses.

    “2013 for some reason was just ugly on and off the field … it’s probably one that I’d rather forget to be fair,” Marshall said.

    “When you’re not wanted, how do you stay? That was the hard part for me.

    “I definitely felt mistreated at the time, I was angry there for a bit.

    “Just the feel of not being wanted when you’ve been there for so long, and the feel of not feeling like a family after it felt like a family for so long is what hurt me the most.”

    Marshall also revealed his biggest regret — joining the Auckland Blues to try his hand at rugby.

    The experiment lasted barely six months before Marshall quit the game to return to the NRL with the Dragons.

    I don’t regret many things, but (I do regret) that whole Auckland Blues saga,” he said.

    “I feel like I let the fans down in that department. Because I was a part of the Tigers family I didn’t want to play for any other rugby league teams, so I felt like union was my only option at the time.

    “I felt like I wasn’t up to the standard at the time … the (Auckland) coach came up to me and said it’s not working out the way we wanted it to … if you want to go back to league here’s your opportunity.”

    Marshall is under no illusion he’ll return to full-time first grade next year with the Tigers.

    He played most of the 2017 season in Broncos’ reserve grade side, although did look impressive when he stepped up to help out the NRL side at times.

    He knows he probably won’t be in Cleary’s best starting 17, as Brooks and recruit Josh Reynolds occupy the halves positions.
    But after a conversation with coach Cleary, Marshall is confident he can help the club in other ways.

    Marshall was offered a contract by Brisbane for next year but decided to get in contact with Cleary to ask if the Tigers could offer him a deal.

    “(Cleary) said yep, no worries, as long as you know that when you come here I’ve got Brooksy playing halfback and Josh Reynolds playing five-eighth … it could be a similar role to the one you’re playing at Brisbane,” Marshall said.

    “I said I don’t care, I know what I can do at training. I explained to him how I thought I could help the club and the effect I could have.

    “All the things I said to him must have had hit home because he made a decision pretty quick smart that he wanted me to be a part of those plans going forward.

    “We didn’t talk about money … I said if you’re happy I’m happy, and we shook hands pretty much there and then.”

    https://coupler.foxsports.com.au/api/v1/article/amp/nrl/nrl-premiership/teams/tigers/i-was-angry-emotional-benji-marshall-reveals-one-regret-opens-up-on-tigers-return/news-story/ff54ebd1e8389412a5da8939d8ac6427



  • it’s win/win for Benji and the WTs.


  • Banned

    Thats interesting that Benji approached the club.
    We could see a great contribution from him over the pre season and next year. Brooks and to a lesser extent Reynolds can learn a fair bit from him.



  • @:

    Marshall was offered a contract by Brisbane for next year but decided to get in contact with Cleary to ask if the Tigers could offer him a deal.

    I’m not sure that bit about the Bronco’s contract is 100% true but good to see him end his career here.

    I think the Union experience was a good one for him as far as his character goes,hurts at the time to have your ego bruised and come to the realisation your not as slick/good as you once were and it was also good to see him having a go in the Bronco’s Reserves.

    He will be a much better person this time around,not the egotistical Prima-Donna that left us.



  • I, like a lot of Tigers fans wish Benji’s form and commitment to the Tigers back in 2012/13 was better than it was. Water under the bridge now….

    Im very happy to have him home so are my 14, 11 year old boys.

    Part of me wants Farah back in some capacity also.


  • ForumSupporter

    This wins the Award for the biggest title thread of the Year…

    Welcome home Benji…



  • Sorry I can’t get that picture on that fateful Saturday with Benji in his Auckland Blues jersey and his lacklustre performances in 2012 and 2013

    It might be all warm ,cuddly and feel good , but it makes no rugby league sense to me



  • @:

    Sorry I can’t get that picture on that fateful Saturday with Benji in his Auckland Blues jersey and his lacklustre performances in 2012 and 2013

    It might be all warm ,cuddly and feel good , but it makes no rugby league sense to me

    It doesn’t if we’re playing Reynolds in reserve grade to make way for him.

    He’ll be in reggies or coming off the bench. the only time he’ll wear a jersey with a single digit on it in first grade is if Reynolds and Brooks are both out at once.



  • @:

    Sorry I can’t get that picture on that fateful Saturday with Benji in his Auckland Blues jersey and his lacklustre performances in 2012 and 2013

    It might be all warm ,cuddly and feel good , but it makes no rugby league sense to me

    It makes perfect sense to me: An able back up half, great experience helping out the younger guys, an excellent football brain - and probably not a hell of a lot of coin tied up.
    What doesn’t make sense?



  • I think he deserves to end his career with the WT. Going by what he did for the Broncos, he’ll add value to the club, both on field and off. It’s unrealistic to expect Brooks and Reynolds to not miss any games so we’ll see Benji in FG at some point.



  • @:

    @:

    Sorry I can’t get that picture on that fateful Saturday with Benji in his Auckland Blues jersey and his lacklustre performances in 2012 and 2013

    It might be all warm ,cuddly and feel good , but it makes no rugby league sense to me

    It makes perfect sense to me: An able back up half, great experience helping out the younger guys, an excellent football brain - and probably not a hell of a lot of coin tied up.
    What doesn’t make sense?

    It’s 2017 not 2005

    His tank is empty and we wasted some salary cap on being feel good ,nicey nice

    Fine put him on the coaching staff if you want , but don’t waste valuable salary space on a has been

    We can’t compete as it is with the other teams and we go and put ourselves further behind the eight ball



  • Great that he is coming back. I think most of us want to forget the last couple of years Benji was here but like he said it can be tough when you are no longer wanted by the club and you want nothing more than to stay. I guess it wouldn’t have hurt as much if both brooks and moses were able to take us to the heights that benji and co did.

    Welcome back.



  • @:

    @:

    @:

    Sorry I can’t get that picture on that fateful Saturday with Benji in his Auckland Blues jersey and his lacklustre performances in 2012 and 2013

    It might be all warm ,cuddly and feel good , but it makes no rugby league sense to me

    It makes perfect sense to me: An able back up half, great experience helping out the younger guys, an excellent football brain - and probably not a hell of a lot of coin tied up.
    What doesn’t make sense?

    It’s 2017 not 2005

    His tank is empty and we wasted some salary cap on being feel good ,nicey nice

    Fine put him on the coaching staff if you want , but don’t waste valuable salary space on a has been

    We can’t compete as it is with the other teams and we go and put ourselves further behind the eight ball

    Valuable salary cap space? We’re still well unders on spend. Signing Benji hasn’t ruined anything for us. He’ll be handy when the injuries hit.



  • @:

    Sorry I can’t get that picture on that fateful Saturday with Benji in his Auckland Blues jersey and his lacklustre performances in 2012 and 2013

    It might be all warm ,cuddly and feel good , but it makes no rugby league sense to me

    Which NRL club do you really support?



  • @:

    @:

    Sorry I can’t get that picture on that fateful Saturday with Benji in his Auckland Blues jersey and his lacklustre performances in 2012 and 2013

    It might be all warm ,cuddly and feel good , but it makes no rugby league sense to me

    It doesn’t if we’re playing Reynolds in reserve grade to make way for him.

    He’ll be in reggies or coming off the bench. the only time he’ll wear a jersey with a single digit on it in first grade is if Reynolds and Brooks are both out at once.

    Totally disagree.
    You can revisit my post at the end of 2018 season.
    Welcome back Benji!


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