It was heavily speculated that a move away from the club would be an option among other potential options, but it has been confirmed, with the Wests Tigers today confirming that five-eighth Benji Marshall has asked for and been given an early release from his contract with the club.
Although he will remain with the club for the remainder of the 2013 season, the club will release him from the final two years of his contract, 2014 and 2015.
Despite Marshall’s agent Martin Tauber stressing that no deal has been done, the rumours linking the Tigers half with a move to rugby union – particularly the NSW Waratahs persist – despite no negotiations.
A part of the Wests Tigers organisation for so long, Tauber says that Marshall believes a new challenge was what he needed and that now is the right time to pursue that.
“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,” Tauber said.
“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 Buy Cialis 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.”
Whilst Tigers boss Grant Mayer admitted disappointment at the decision made by Marshall, he does remain confident that the club is headed in the right direction.
“Benji is a fantastic role model not only for the club but for the game as a whole,” Mayer said.
“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.”
With Marshall asking for a release, Mayer said it is something the club will consider closely but will have to be approved by the board.
“A request for a release is something that we would have to consider,” he said.
“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.”