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Potter keeps Benji at No.6

Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter has rejected calls to drop rugby-bound Benji Marshall, retaining the out-of-sorts playmaker at No.6 for the NRL side's clash with St George Illawarra at the SCG on Saturday.
Potter keeps Benji at No.6
by AAP

By Rob Forsaith

SYDNEY, Aug 20 AAP - Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter has rejected calls to drop rugby-bound Benji Marshall, retaining the out-of-sorts playmaker at No.6 for the NRL side's clash with St George Illawarra at the SCG on Saturday.

Marshall, who has been on the outer and out of form at Wests since signing a deal with Super Rugby side the Auckland Blues earlier this month, missed tackles and failed to find targets with both his hands and feet in the Tigers' miserable 56-14 loss to the Sydney Roosters on Monday night.

Legendary halfbacks Andrew Johns and Peter Sterling both suggested they would axe Marshall and promote youngster Luke Brooks for the match against the Dragons.

"His heart is just not in it anymore," Johns told Triple M.

"Something has got to happen this week."

Potter, who controversially benched Marshall earlier this season, opted against dropping the New Zealand star but was forced to omit centre Blake Ayshford from the side that was thumped by the Roosters.

Ayshford, who will join Cronulla after this season, suffered a fractured eye-socket in the loss to the Roosters and has played his last game for the Tigers.

The Sharks, who host the table-topping Roosters on Monday night, regained Wade Graham after a week on the sidelines with Jayson Bukuya dropped back to the interchange bench.

Meanwhile, Canterbury named an unchanged side for their blockbuster clash with South Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.

Josh Morris, who starred as the Bulldogs' stand-in No.1 in a 28-16 win over Canberra, will square off against Souths superstar Greg Inglis.

However Justin Hunt, who in the past has filled in for Inglis at fullback, was named on an extended seven-man bench by Souths coach Michael Maguire.

Ben Lowe will start at lock in place of Jeff Lima, who was given a one-match ban for twisting the leg of Manly's Anthony Watmough.

Watmough was named in the Sea Eagles side that are away to Canberra on Sunday, but doubts remain whether coach Geoff Toovey will take a risk on his knee injury.

Gold Coast halfback Albert Kelly will return from a sternum injury in his side's home match against the Warriors on Saturday, with co-captain Greg Bird named despite leaving the field against North Queensland last week with a back injury.

Injury-plagued Warrior Jerome Ropati will play his first NRL match in more than three months, having been selected on the right wing by coach Matthew Elliott.




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