Two of the NRL’s most experienced halves have backflipped on potential moves in surprising shake up of the player market.
Wests Tigers legend Benji Marshall is set to stay in Sydney, while Blake Green’s move to the Bulldogs is reportedly off as he looks to stay in Newcastle.
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Marshall was disappointed to read he was not wanted at the club he had made his name at and won a premiership win, only finding out when he saw it in the paper.
But the club showed him the door after 257 matches in orange and black for the joint venture club.
His farewell was difficult as well, limping off in the first half of the side’s final match of the season with a knee injury and broken ribs, as Parramatta came back to win 28-24.
All throughout his final games for the club and even at his farewell, Marshall was defiant that his career would continue with another club.
He was strongly linked with a move to the Cowboys under new coach Todd Payten, with the pair sharing a close bond having been teammates between 2004 and 2011, including the 2005 Grand Final victory.
Reports were that Marshall was close to a deal with the Cowboys’ Jake Clifford was linked to a move the Knights.
Benji Marshall was left stunned that he was left out of the Tigers’ plans.Source:Getty Images
But the deal fell apart as Marshall is seeking a $400,000 one year deal, with the Cowboys only able to offer a reported $150,000 out of the club’s salary cap.
Fox Sports’ James Hooper told Triple M that Benji could look to stay in Sydney with the Cronulla Sharks firming as a possible suitor.
“I think Benji might be in talks to possibly show up at Cronulla,” Hooper said on Triple M.
“Obviously Shaun Johnson suffered that bad Achilles injury towards the end of the season.
“As a result there was some talk linking Benji to the Cowboys and his old grand final teammate Todd Payten. They won a premiership in 2005 at Wests Tigers.
“I think Benji because of his Fox Sports commitments his preference is to remain in Sydney, so I think there has been some dialogue with the Sharks.”
The Cowboys are also now seeking to hold on to the 22-year-old Clifford.
It left the Knights out in the cold but Green is also set to backflip on a deal to move to the Bulldogs to remain in Newcastle.
The Knights will hope Green can take pressure off Mitchell Pearce.Source:Getty Images
The Australian’s Brent Read reported on Triple M as well that Green would look to stay in Newcastle after being offered a chance to start a coaching career with the Knights.
“There was a bit of talk Blake Green might end up staying in Newcastle,” Read said on Triple M.
“He signed a one-year-deal with Canterbury after this season, but there was talk he might stay in Newcastle because they came to him with a deal to stay next year and eventually become a coach.
“It look like that will happen. I would expect that to get rubber-stamped soon.
“Green will play next year in Newcastle when he recovers from his knee reconstruction and eventually become a coach at the club.”
Green was signed from the Warriors during the season after he was told he was no longer needed by New Zealand.
But after he signed with the Bulldogs as a replacement for Kieran Foran, Green suffered a serious knee injury just three weeks after moving to Newcastle.
It’s not all good news for the Knights though with loan hooker Andrew McCullough going back to the Broncos in 2021.
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