Tigers confirm Marshall won't be at club in 2021

Benji Marshall has pledged to fight for his career at another NRL club after the Wests Tigers informed his management they would not have a spot for him in 2021.

It comes as several of the club’s players raised trust and communication issues with coach Michael Maguire during a crisis meeting on Monday, with concerns growing over the coach’s rapport with the playing group.

Marshall’s manager began calling rival NRL clubs on Monday night, offering the five-eighth’s services for next year following a two-hour meeting with Tigers officials during the afternoon.

Marshall confronted Maguire at the club’s Concord headquarters yesterday morning in a 90-minute showdown over his future. The 35-year-old, who wants to play again next season, was disappointed to learn he wasn’t part of the club’s 2021 plans after reading a Herald article on Monday morning.

Maguire had agreed to reconsider, but by the afternoon the club’s position was made clear in a meeting between Marshall’s manager Matt Desira, Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe and head of football Adam Hartigan.

Marshall is scheduled to meet with club powerbrokers on Tuesday to discuss the matter in person. While the Tigers believe Marshall still has plenty to offer, the club’s salary cap predicament has left them with next to no choice but to bring down the curtain on his second coming at the joint venture.

The Tigers have close to $1.6 million tied up in halves Josh Reynolds (off contract at the end of 2021) and Luke Brooks (2023), while they also have Adam Doueihi, Moses Mbye, Billy Walters and young gun Jock Madden, who can all play in the halves, on their books. They have been trying to offload Reynolds for two seasons without success.

The Tigers, who are chasing Josh Addo-Carr and Penrith rookie Charlie Staines, believe Marshall’s $300,000 salary is better spent bolstering their back line or forward pack. The Tigers still have $1m to spend in their salary cap next season with five roster spots to fill.

Marshall’s career is now at a crossroads, with the veteran playmaker intent on continuing beyond his 18th season in the NRL. Manly, Newcastle and Canterbury appear the most logical options.

Marshall may yet have a change of heart once the emotion subsides. He is expected to be given a farewell tour over the final rounds before the last match of the regular season against Parramatta.

Marshall started the year well but was controversially dropped by Maguire after round four despite sitting in second position on the Dally M Medal leaderboard. He returned in round nine but the Tigers have struggled since then.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/tigers-confirm-marshall-won-t-be-at-club-in-2021-as-benji-plans-to-play-on-20200831-p55r38.html

Let him go, his time is up, he has no second half energy. The team structure needs rebuilding.

Weird that it is announced this way. I thought they would have kept it quiet and given him some time to make a decision and announce his retirement if that is what he is going to do.

They haven’t confirmed it though.

last edited by GNR4LIFE

Tigers confirm he is not back next year… Could be why he is playing this week

Probably trying to talk him into announcing his retirement so he finishes as a Tiger, the way he should. He’s a stubborn one though

last edited by GNR4LIFE

They havent confirmed anything - nothing has been announced as of yet.

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Official announcement just made - https://www.weststigers.com.au/news/2020/09/01/wests-tigers-statement-on-benji-marshall/

Wests Tigers have today confirmed that the 2020 NRL season will be Benji Marshall’s final season with the club.

Having first debuted for Wests Tigers in 2003, Marshall helped the club clinch its maiden Premiership victory in 2005 and was inducted as an inaugural Life Member in 2013.

Since then, Marshall has gone on to become the second-most capped player in Wests Tigers history with 253 first-grade games for the club.

His 14th season with Wests Tigers will be his last, after the club confirmed the decision to part ways with the 35-year-old at the end of the year.

“Benji Marshall has been an incredible servant of this club for close to two decades, and has had an invaluable impact in shaping who we are as Wests Tigers,” Wests Tigers Chair Lee Hagipantelis said.

"Benji’s importance over the years has been seen clearly on field, but as of equal significance for our club has been his presence off it. He is a player and a person that has inspired generations of rugby league fans and I have no doubt that he will go down as one of the greatest ever players to represent Wests Tigers.”

"As a club, we were thrilled to welcome Benji back to Wests Tigers in 2018 and to see him return in a leadership role in this part of his career,” said Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe.

"Over the past two-and-a-half years, Benji has performed as we knew he would on field but the reality with our roster management is that he will not be with Wests Tigers next year.

“Decisions around our playing roster are incredibly difficult ones to make, and this decision is not made lightly with the absolute respect this club has for Benji Marshall.

"While difficult, however, it is a decision that has been made as part of our constant roster management responsibilities in order to ensure clarity and certainty for our organisation moving forward.

“Whatever Benji chooses to do in 2021 — whether that is playing football or not — will be up to him and I have no doubt he will be a success,” Pascoe said. “He is a terrific player and person and will unequivocally have the full admiration and respect of this organisation in whatever he does next in life.”

Yep. Just got the email.

Great. Now do the right thing and retire.

Love you Benji but the club has finally made the right decision! Good job Wests tigers.

The club should have had a media release ready to go when they talked to Benji. A manager is always going to leak to the papers once they’ve been made aware.

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