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Benji open to Super League as Munster backs veteran to play on

Benji Marshall’s manager says he is open to offers from Super League as Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster insists the Wests Tigers legend deserves a new deal.

Munster posted a photo of himself with Marshall on Instagram after last Sunday’s clash with Wests Tigers, juxtaposed with one 14 years earlier when he first met Marshall in Rockhampton as a junior.

On Wednesday at the Storm’s media session Munster said "some team is going to end up picking him up and are going to be very lucky to have him in their side".

The Tigers have informed Marshall they will not be re-signing him but his manager Matt Desira said the 35-year-old had interest from several NRL clubs and did not intend his 324th first-grade game against the Eels on Saturday night to be his last.

"At the moment we are in talks but there is nothing in concrete. I couldn’t tell you he is going here or there," he told NRL.com

 
 
 
 
 
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14 years on, Who would of thought i would lace up the boots against one of the best play makers in this era 🔥 #lookshortplaylong #howstheknees

A post shared by Cam Munster (@munster94) on

"Fox Sports have made him a decent offer but we just have to sit and wait.

"We are giving it until the grand final to make a decision but Benji does want to go around again and deserves to finish how he wants to. I definitely think he will play on."

Desira said he had read Steve Renouf's NRL.com column in which the former Broncos star wrote he had contacted Wigan Warriors general manager Kris Radlinski, his former teammate, to pitch Marshall as an ideal recruit.

The legacy of Marshall and Lawrence

"Benji would definitely look at overseas for sure," Desira said.

Munster said Marshall should be given a new deal and was not happy with the Tigers for not sticking with him. 

"When I look and see that the Tigers didn’t want to have him after this year I was a bit annoyed. He is probably one of the toughest players to defend against," Munster said.

"When a club that he has done so much for is not seeing eye-to-eye with him is a bit of a kick in the face, not only to him but everyone around the game. It just shows that there is no loyalty.

"I just wanted to show my admiration for him for the last 16 years he has played footy.

"He is playing some of the best footy I have seen since he was a young bloke at the Tigers playing with [Daniel] Fitzhenry, Paul Whatuira and all those kind of guys.

Wests Tigers v Eels - Round 20

"He still has a lot to give to this game. He has everything in the [kit] bag and when we played him on the weekend he was probably the bloke we were worried about the most when he had the ball in his hand."

Munster gave a moving tribute to Marshall as the reason why he and a lot of young players pursued their dreams.

"As a young fella he was pretty much the reason why everyone wanted to step and flick pass. He changed the game for five-eighths and the grand final flick pass [in 2005] everyone is going to remember when he retires,” Munster said.

Benji Marshall with eager fan Cameron Munster last weekend.
Benji Marshall with eager fan Cameron Munster last weekend. ©Cameron Munster

"I was starstruck when I met him as a young fella just with how humble and nice he was.

“He had won the comp the year before and came up to an invitational touch thing in Rockhampton and I was lucky to be one of the kids to get a photo with him.

"Fourteen years later I am still rubbing shoulders with him.

"The comments on my [Instagram] photo were all about people saying that Benji Marshall was the reason why they play footy and that just shows how much respect he has around the game and the community."