Benji Marshall’s closest ally in rugby league says the former Golden Boot winner never truly wanted to play rugby union in the first place.
Marshall is on the hunt for an NRL club after being granted a release from his Super Rugby contract with the Blues on Wednesday after just two months in the 15-man code.
Although he won’t be reuniting with him, Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah believes his 2005 premiership-winning teammate has made the right call.
“I truly don’t think that he wanted to go to rugby in the first place,” Farah said on NRL 360 on Fox Sports.
“But the way things worked out for him last year at the Tigers, whether he got some bad advice or not, I’m not too sure.
“But I think he was kind of backed into a corner and felt like he had no other option.
“There’s no doubt, in my opinion, that Benji wanted to play out his career with the Tigers, but things didn’t work out that way.
“He’s got a second chance now, albeit with another club unfortunately, but hopefully – that old saying, you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone – I think he appreciates rugby league more now and hopefully he can make the most of his second coming.”
Already with several ex-Tigers players on their books including Marshall’s close friend Beau Ryan, plus Blake Ayshford, John Morris, Bryce Gibbs, Chris Heighington and Andrew Fifita, Cronulla are favoured to pick up Marshall.
Marshall on Wednesday denied a deal had been struck with the Sharks, but Farah said no matter where he ended up, the former New Zealand Test captain belonged back in rugby league after swallowing his pride and admitting he was a rugby flop.
“And that would have hurt him too,” Farah said.
“I know Benji probably better than anyone knows Benji and they don’t come much prouder than him and for him to come out and admit that it just wasn’t working for him in rugby is a massive call and a massive thing for him to do.
“There’s no doubt, I think, he’s a rugby league player through and through. His heart is still in rugby league and having him back in our game, albeit not with the Tigers – it’s going to be weird seeing him play for another club – but he belongs in our game.”