Wests Tigers hope Benji and Robbie reunion can revive their fortunes
Wests Tigers players hope Benji Marshall reuniting with Robbie Farah for the first time in five years on Sunday can rejuvenate their finals chances.
With Farah returning to the Tigers before the June 30 NRL transfer deadline and Marshall overcoming a calf injury, the pair will play together for the first time since round 26 of the 2013 Telstra Premiership in North Queensland.
Farah will retain the No.9 jersey he wore in his comeback match two weeks ago against Gold Coast at Leichhardt Oval, while Marshall replaces the injured Josh Reynolds at five-eighth for the clash with the Dragons at Jubilee.
"It will be great to have Benji Marshall and Robbie Farah in the team," New Zealand Test centre Esan Marsters said. "I am really looking forward to this game because we need to win and I think having Robbie back at the club, and having Benji as well, is pretty special."
Second-rower Chris Lawrence and winger David Nofoaluma are the only members of the line-up named for the Jubilee Oval clash who have played alongside Marshall and Farah.
Halfback Luke Brooks played one match with Marshall in 2013 but Farah was injured.
Lawrence said having them together again would boost the confidence of the Tigers after four consecutive losses, which have resulted in them plummeting out of the top eight.
"They have both played for so many years and they know how to play at the highest level so their experience and composure on the field is going to be key, particularly for a lot of our younger players," Lawrence said.
"In this period where we are now, where we are down in confidence and we are in losing patch, you need experienced players to help you and just find a way to win so to have Benji and Robbie will be good for our team."
After playing 11 years with Farah before his departure to South Sydney at the end of the 2016 season, Lawrence said the former Tigers captain fitted in like he had never left.
"I thought he was our best player and he is definitely going to play a key role in the last part of the season," Lawrence said.
"I suppose the difference was that he had a specific role that what Ivan [Cleary] wanted from him and I think him coming back and not being captain, or our only senior player, he didn't have to try and run everything, he just had to focus on what he had to do for the team."
Farah and Marshall are the last survivors from the club’s 2005 grand final winning team.