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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 2016

Round 1
Thu, 03 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR vs BRI 20:05Pirtek
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CBY 20:05BO
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs PEN 15:00GIO
WST vs NZW 17:30CSS
NQL vs CRO 19:301300
Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs SOU 16:00AS
GCT vs NEW 18:30Cbus
Mon, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs STG 19:00AAMI
Fri, 09 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
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vs 00:00TBA
vs 00:00TBA
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Round 2
Thu, 10 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN vs CBY 20:05Pepp
Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs NZW 20:05SUN
Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs SYD 15:00GIO
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:30Pirtek
Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRO vs STG 16:00Shark Park
MEL vs GCT 18:30AAMI
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WST vs MAN 19:00VAS
Fri, 16 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 17 SepTimes shown AEST
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Round 3
Thu, 17 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL vs SYD 20:051300
Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY vs PAR 20:05ANZ
Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CBR 17:30HS
PEN vs BRI 19:30Pepp
GCT vs WST 21:30Cbus
Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
STG vs SOU 16:00SCG
Mon, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CRO 19:00BO
Fri, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
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Round 4
Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU vs CBY 16:00ANZ
BRI vs NQL 20:05SUN
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs GCT 17:30GIO
SYD vs MAN 19:30AS
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG vs PEN 16:00WIN
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
WST vs PAR 16:00ANZ
CRO vs MEL 19:00Shark Park
Sun, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
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Round 5
Thu, 31 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs SOU 20:05BO
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
GCT vs BRI 20:05Cbus
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs NEW 15:00AAMI
WST vs CRO 17:30CSS
NQL vs STG 19:301300
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
PAR vs PEN 16:00Pirtek
Mon, 04 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CBR 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
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Round 6
Thu, 07 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 19:50SUN
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs SYD 19:50ANZ
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBR 15:00Pirtek
NZW vs MAN 17:30MSS
PEN vs NQL 19:30Pepp
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs GCT 14:00Shark Park
NEW vs WST 16:00HS
Mon, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs CBY 19:00AAMI
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Round 7
Thu, 14 AprTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PAR 19:50BO
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
NQL vs SOU 19:501300
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT vs STG 15:00Cbus
CBY vs NZW 17:30Westpac Stadium
BRI vs NEW 19:30SUN
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 14:00GIO
WST vs MEL 16:00VAS
Mon, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PEN 19:00AS
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Round 8
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SOU 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs GCT 15:00ANZ
CBR vs WST 17:30GIO
NQL vs PAR 19:301300
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs PEN 16:00Shark Park
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MAN 14:00HS
STG vs SYD 16:00AS
MEL vs NZW 19:00AAMI
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Round 9
Thu, 28 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs WST 19:50ANZ
PAR vs CBY 19:50ANZ
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 15:00Carrington Park
SYD vs NEW 17:30CCS
MAN vs NQL 19:30BO
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 12:00MSS
GCT vs MEL 14:00Cbus
CRO vs BRI 16:00Shark Park
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Round 10
Thu, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBR 19:50Jubilee Oval
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SOU 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs NZW 15:00AMI Stadium
MEL vs NQL 17:30SUN
MAN vs BRI 19:30SUN
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
WST vs CBY 16:00ANZ
Mon, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SYD 19:00Cbus
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Round 11
Thu, 19 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:50ANZ
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
NQL vs BRI 19:501300
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NEW 15:00CSS
NZW vs CBR 17:30Yarrow Stadium
CRO vs MAN 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs GCT 14:00Pepp
CBY vs SYD 16:00ANZ
Mon, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs MEL 19:00Pirtek
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Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WST 19:50SUN
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO
Mon, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PAR 19:00HS
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Round 13
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs MAN 19:50GIO
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs BRI 15:00MSS
NQL vs NEW 17:301300
MEL vs PEN 19:30AAMI
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WST 16:00AS
SOU vs GCT 18:30nib Stadium
Mon, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CRO 19:00ANZ
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Round 14
Thu, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBR 19:50SUN
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:50ANZ
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs NZW 15:00HS
PAR vs GCT 17:30TIO
SYD vs MEL 19:30AS
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PEN 16:00BO
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
CRO vs NQL 19:00Shark Park
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Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:50ANZ
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs MEL 19:30WIN
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 16:00MSS
Mon, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus
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Round 16
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:50Pepp
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs STG 15:00HS
CRO vs NZW 17:30Shark Park
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBR 14:00Cbus
MEL vs WST 16:00AAMI
Mon, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NQL vs MAN 19:001300
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Round 17
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CBY 19:50AS
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 19:50SUN
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs GCT 15:00MSS
WST vs PEN 17:30ANZ
CRO vs PAR 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 14:00GIO
SOU vs NQL 16:00Barlow Park
Mon, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs STG 19:00BO
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Round 18
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SYD 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
CBY vs WST 19:30ANZ
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CRO 16:00Pepp
Mon, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 19:00GIO
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Round 19
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs GCT 19:50Jubilee Oval
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
SOU vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MEL 14:00HS
PEN vs PAR 16:00Pepp
Mon, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CRO 19:00AS
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Round 20
Thu, 21 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBY 19:501300
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NZW 15:00GIO
GCT vs PAR 17:30Cbus
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CRO vs NEW 14:00Shark Park
STG vs WST 16:00ANZ
Mon, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
SOU vs MAN 19:00ANZ
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Round 21
Wed, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PEN 22:00MSS
Thu, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
CBY vs STG 00:00ANZ
GCT vs CRO 00:00Cbus
PAR vs WST 00:00ANZ
SOU vs CBR 00:00ANZ
MAN vs NEW 00:00BO
NQL vs MEL 00:001300
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Round 22
Thu, 04 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs BRI 00:00WIN
PAR vs MAN 00:00Pirtek
CRO vs CBR 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
MEL vs SOU 00:00AAMI
GCT vs NZW 00:00Cbus
WST vs NQL 00:00VAS
PEN vs SYD 00:00Pepp
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Round 23
Wed, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SOU 22:00MSS
Thu, 11 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MAN 00:00ANZ
BRI vs PAR 00:00SUN
WST vs GCT 00:00CSS
STG vs CRO 00:00Jubilee Oval
NEW vs PEN 00:00HS
SYD vs NQL 00:00AS
CBR vs MEL 00:00GIO
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Round 24
Thu, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
SYD vs STG 00:00AS
NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
NQL vs NZW 00:001300
MAN vs MEL 00:00BO
CBR vs PAR 00:00GIO
PEN vs WST 00:00Pepp
SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs WST 22:00MSS
Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
MEL vs BRI 00:00AAMI
GCT vs PEN 00:00Cbus
MAN vs CBR 00:00BO
CRO vs SYD 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs SOU 00:00HS
PAR vs STG 00:00Pirtek
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
Thu, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 00:00SUN
CBY vs SOU 00:00ANZ
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
NQL vs GCT 00:001300
MEL vs CRO 00:00AAMI
WST vs CBR 00:00VAS
PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
View All Fixtures

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