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Fulton wants Marshall for rest of 2013

Benji Marshall

They don't know where he's going just yet, but Benji Marshall's Wests Tigers teammates believe the departing superstar deserves to see out his time with the NRL club in the top grade.
Fulton wants Marshall for rest of 2013
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, August 6 AAP - They don't know where he's going just yet, but Benji Marshall's Wests Tigers teammates believe the departing superstar deserves to see out his time with the NRL club in the top grade.

Suggestions Marshall would be dropped by coach Michael Potter were rubbished by teammates, despite the champion five-eighth's obvious struggles with form and distractions off the field.

As part of the build-up to last week's heavy loss to Gold Coast, Marshall spent time in Auckland for talks with the Blues Super Rugby franchise, and was clearly below his best on his return against the Titans.

Long-time teammate Liam Fulton said criticism of Marshall was unwarranted.

While reports surfaced on Tuesday that he had agreed to a code switch with the Blues, Fulton said the squad had not yet been informed of his plans but, either way, claimed the former New Zealand Test captain warranted a fitting farewell, needing just four more games to register 200 with the club.

"Benji's a great player and a great bloke. He deserves his chance to finish the season out," Fulton said on Tuesday.

"He came in 2003 and set the NRL on fire - he deserves his fairytale finish."

"He'd be devastated if that happened (he was dropped), but I'm sure that won't happen.

"He's a class player and we all believe in him and want him to play out the rest of the year."

Asked about the criticism of Marshall and his trip across the Tasman last week, Fulton said: "Who cares what papers say?

"As a club, we don't care. He had the best preparation he could do.

"He's off contract so he had to go over and talk to them."

Should Marshall be retained for Friday night's meeting with Parramatta, he could be lining up alongside the man who could one day assume his mantle as the Tigers' go-to man with teenager Luke Brooks poised to make his debut.


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