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'I don't regret my decision': Benji reveals why he's going

No deal: Benji Marshall says he believed he would stay with the Tigers until 2017.

No deal: Benji Marshall says he believed he would stay with the Tigers until 2017. Photo: Brendan Esposito

An emotional Benji Marshall says he has no regrets about his decision to leave Wests Tigers at the end of this season, declaring: ''For myself, for my game, for my life, for my happiness, I had to do this. I weighed up a lot of things, I wrote down a lot of stuff, pros and cons, but my decision was about what was best for me, and I thought that I needed a change.''

That change will see Marshall leave the Tigers at the end of this season, assuming club officials allow him a release from the last two years of his contract. Breaking his silence on the shock move, Marshall said he was excited about the prospect of a switch to rugby union while also devastated to be leaving his home for more than a decade.

That said: ''I don't regret my decision at all. Some people aren't going to be happy, but those people aren't living my life. I am.''

Asked why he had made the call to leave the club he helped to a premiership win in 2005, Marshall said: ''It's a combination of a lot of things. A lot of my friends have left, my close friends, over the past couple of years, who were on contract, who were pushed out. People go on about the fact that I had two more years on my contract, and that I'm walking out … some of my teammates who left had agreed to contracts and were pushed out. But that's OK? At the end of the day, the decision had to be made then and there, and I made it.''

The ''handshake agreement'' that he maintains was made - which would have seen him stay with the club until the end of 2017 - was another reason. The five-eighth revealed he had told family, friends and teammates that he would be staying with the club until 2017 after that upgraded and extended deal was, in his eyes, agreed upon.

''I thought I was going to be here until 2017,'' he said. ''I'm celebrating with my mates about it two months ago. And because there was new management, they didn't make that deal, or know anything about that deal, so they couldn't honour that deal. But at the end of the day, I'm a big enough man about it to know that a decision had to be made.

''In the past, I've probably made decisions based upon what I thought what would make everyone else happy. For where I'm at now, and where my life is now, I've made this decision based upon what I thought was the best thing for me and my family. That's the first time that I've ever felt like I've made that decision for me.''

With interest from Super Rugby outfits the Waratahs, Melbourne Rebels and Auckland Blues, Marshall said he had no doubt that he could make the transition to the rival code ''with a lot of hard work, and a lot of attention''.

''I grew up playing it,'' Marshall said. ''I started when I was four. It won't be easy. It will definitely be hard. I watch rugby all the time - it's not like I haven't watched it. But getting out there and remembering positional plays is going to be the first thing.

''I feel like I can still offer a lot to rugby union, on and off the field. For where I'm at in my career, and where I'm at in my life … they reckon a change is as good as a holiday, but it's not going to be much of a holiday, because I'm going to have to work pretty hard.''

Marshall also denied vehemently that he had been motivated by money and greed.

''I made the decision without having a back-up option, or having a deal signed to go to any other club,'' he said. ''Effectively, at the end of this year, I don't have anywhere to go.

''That's the gamble. And that was a hard decision to make. So anyone who tries to say that this decision was about money is full of shit. I'm going to be getting less to play rugby, not more.

''I'm not a money-hungry, disloyal person with no integrity. If anything, I feel I'm the opposite.

''Until you know what sort of person I am, and know the story behind what's gone on, say what you like. But if it was about money, I would have left five years ago to go to Japan, when David Gallop stopped me.

''I wouldn't have taken pay-cuts all those years to help the club be under the cap.

''If it's about money, why would I do all those things? If it's about loyalty, why wouldn't have I have left five years ago, when I had offers from other clubs? Why wouldn't I have done that? Why wouldn't I just go now and play for another NRL club? Why wouldn't I just do that?

''Because that's not me, that's not the sort of person I am. It's more than that. I love the club. Out of respect for the fans of the club, the club, and my teammates, I won't play against them. And that's final. That's it. There's no other [NRL] club I want to play for. At the end of this year, my NRL days are over.''

43 comments so far

  • Well done Bengi, You have made the right decsion. If you can't trust club mangement,why stay around . You know you would be dropped like a hot potato, if you had a couple of years sub parr.. You have done everything in league , now you have a shot other titles and goals.
    Good luck with the rest of your career and life.

    cheers TeeGee

    Commenter
    teegee
    Location
    Vancouver,BC Canada
    Date and time
    July 18, 2013, 1:42AM
    • Sorry teegee. Your appraisal of Benji is a lot of drivel. You can't even spell his name.

      If you listen to the media, he's a superstar. If you watch and understand the game, he's terribly overrated. Can't tackle, won't run to the line, and whilst he can pull off a fancy pass or kick, it's way too inconsistent. The flick pass in the '05 GF put him on the map and kept him there. He makes crucial errors, plays for himself and seems more concerned about his hair than playing footy.

      He won't handle the toughness in rugby. Better off in touch footy or soccer.

      Commenter
      the confronting reality
      Date and time
      July 18, 2013, 1:13PM
    • Right on. He's playing sub par because his hearts not in it. I'd sign him in a flash. Of course, I'm an Eeels supporter. Marshall linking with Hayne. Christ that would be good. Sigh.

      Commenter
      Matt Hartley.
      Location
      Koh Samui
      Date and time
      July 18, 2013, 2:44PM
  • It's clear that Tauber and Marshall are trying to coerce a release from the Tigers by freely using the media to tell their side of the story. The constant theme being pushed is that a deal was done a long time ago and it has been undone by changed management. If a deal was done, and not documented and executed, surely that responsibility rests with Tauber. Speaking generally, these "managers" do very little for their commission, usually taking advantage of the fact that most NRL players have little to no business skills. I don't class Marshall that way, so, Tauber's ineffective management is really where Marshall should be directing his criticism, not at "the Club he loves". I suspect this is more about losing Tim Sheens as coach (and thus defacto control over the team). In that regard, I applaud Mick Potter for exerting some long overdue control. Send Marshall back to the feeder team for the rest of the season and make him earn his release playing out of the spotlight.

    Commenter
    Steve
    Location
    Arizona, USA
    Date and time
    July 18, 2013, 4:25AM
    • Spot on Steve. What kind of manager doesn't follow up on a handshake agreement by getting something on paper as soon as possible? He stuffed up, plain and simple.

      I don't blame Benji at all. And as a Tigers fan, I hope they don't play him in NSW Cup - I want to see him on the field as much as possible, and hopefully with this weight off his shoulders he can finish on a high.

      Commenter
      Andrew B
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 18, 2013, 9:57AM
  • Nooo, not another SBW wannabe! If the Waratahs pick him up and stick with him then its once again a massive kick in the guts to every loyal rugby player in the squad.
    Send him overseas to learn the ropes. The last thing i want to read is Benji struggling to fit in.
    Rugby is a hell of a lot different from league! The only thing this guy will contribute is media attention and putting any Australian Super Rugby franchise on the backburner.

    Commenter
    Mattty
    Date and time
    July 18, 2013, 4:41AM
    • Please?! Seriously! are you really comparing the SBW incident to Benjis situation. Pull your head in champ and chew some more sour grapes!

      Commenter
      Bamboosolid
      Date and time
      July 18, 2013, 1:30PM
    • Rubbish. The 'tahs recruited Folau, best recruitment they make in years. Test should''ve shut the rah rah loyalists up.

      All the best in union Benji, hope you prove the critics wrong. Thanks for the memories at Tigers, but I think it's time.

      Commenter
      rudy
      Date and time
      July 18, 2013, 2:58PM
  • It is all about money. Poor guy was getting $750,000 per season but wanted $1000,000........

    Is this guy kidding. He is worth more like $200,000...

    Benji lives in a dream world. Let him go to rugby. If they are dumb enough to pay him that kind of money let them. Just don't let the door hit him on the way out.

    Commenter
    Mark
    Location
    Granville
    Date and time
    July 18, 2013, 6:48AM
    • You just proved Benji's point that it's not about the money. He's walking away from $750,000 to nothing. Good on ya mate!

      Commenter
      BamBam
      Location
      Chch
      Date and time
      July 18, 2013, 8:54AM

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NRL Season 2015

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PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
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NEW 24 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs WST 19 Report Stats
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PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Report Stats
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CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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PEN 40 vs GCT Report Stats
MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
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CBR 6 vs NZW 18 Report Stats
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MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Report Stats
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GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
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PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24 vs CBY 25 Report Stats
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NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Report Stats
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SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Report Stats
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NQL 18 vs MEL 17 Stats
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CBY 17 vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16 vs BRI 26 Report Stats
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MAN 16 vs CBR 29 Report Stats
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PAR 6 vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
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BRI 22 vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs NEW 6 Report Stats
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PAR 16 vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32 vs WST 22 Report Stats
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CBR 10 vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31 vs CBY 6 Report Stats
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SOU 12 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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GCT 32 vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28 vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17 vs SYD 16 Report Stats
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WST 22 vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22 vs PAR 28 Report Stats
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CRO 18 vs SOU 10 Stats
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Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14 vs WST 38 Stats
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NZW 28 vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24 vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12 vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10 vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28 vs PAR 16 Stats
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PEN 26 vs CRO 18 Stats
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Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:35SUN
SYD vs WST 19:35AS
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CBR vs GCT 15:00GIO Stadium
CRO vs NZW 17:30Remondis Stadium
NQL vs CBY 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NEW 14:00BO
PAR vs MEL 16:00Pirtek Stadium
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:00ANZ
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Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY vs SYD 19:35ANZ
NQL vs BRI 19:351300 Smiles Stadium
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PAR vs NZW 15:00Pirtek Stadium
GCT vs CRO 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
MEL vs SOU 19:30AAMI
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STG vs CBR 14:00WIN
NEW vs WST 16:00HS
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PEN 19:00BO
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Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:45ANZ
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WST vs NQL 19:30CSS
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO Stadium
Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs BRI 19:00HS
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Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
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Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
WST vs GCT 19:35VAS
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
SOU vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
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CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
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Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 18:00MSS
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GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
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Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs WST 19:45BO
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs SYD 19:00AS
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Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
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Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
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Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
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Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
MEL vs PEN 19:35AAMI
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
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Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
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Round 21
Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
MAN vs BRI 00:00TBA
WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
GCT vs PAR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
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Round 22
Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
CBR vs WST 00:00GIO Stadium
MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
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Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
CBY vs GCT 00:00TBA
NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
PEN vs NZW 00:00Pepper Stadium
CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
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Round 24
Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
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Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
CBR vs PEN 00:00GIO Stadium
MAN vs SYD 00:00BO
MEL vs NQL 00:00AAMI
WST vs NZW 00:00CSS
GCT vs STG 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
CBY vs NZW 00:00ANZ
NQL vs GCT 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs WST 00:00ANZ
PAR vs CBR 00:00Pirtek Stadium
PEN vs NEW 00:00Pepper Stadium
SYD vs SOU 00:00AS
CRO vs MAN 00:00Remondis Stadium
View All Fixtures
NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
St George-Illawarra Dragons 8 6 2 0 12
Brisbane Broncos 8 6 2 0 12
Melbourne Storm 8 5 3 0 10
North Queensland Cowboys 8 5 3 0 10
Wests Tigers 8 4 4 0 8
South Sydney Rabbitohs 8 4 4 0 8
Gold Coast Titans 8 4 4 0 8
Penrith Panthers 8 4 4 0 8
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