Farah re-signs with Wests Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Farah re-signs with Wests Tigers

By Liam Fitzgibbon 13/01/2009 06:02:28 PM Comments (0)

Wests Tigers locked down the services of in-demand hooker Robbie Farah for the next five years on Tuesday before turning their attention to keeping NRL superstar Benji Marshall at the club.

Farah turned down a lucrative offer from Gold Coast to sign a four-year contract extension on Tuesday, believed to be worth around $1.6 million, that will see him remain at the club until the end of 2013.

The Tigers also appointed the 24-year-old as the club's new captain on what chief executive Scott Longmuir described as one of the most important days in the club's history.

Farah had been agonising over the decision for more than a month after meeting Titans officials and touring Skilled Stadium in December.

He said there were many sleepless nights and admitted he had been close to joining the Titans but said he ultimately could not bear to leave his junior club.

"It was a tough decision, the last six weeks has been really tough," said Farah, a Leichhardt Wanderers junior.

"In your own head you change your mind a million times a day.

"But for me in the end my heart made my decision and it was just too hard to leave the club I've played for since I was a kid.

"I'm just glad it's all over now and I can get some sleep."

Farah said the fact the majority of the Tigers' forward pack, including Todd Payten, Chris Heighington and incoming Gareth Ellis, had recently signed long-term deals was a huge factor in wanting to stay.

The club now hopes Farah's decision will have a snowball effect and entice Kiwi superstar Marshall to also re-sign.

Marshall is off contract at the end of 2009 and has been linked with a move to rugby union.

The Tigers expect a decision on the five-eighth's future before the NRL season kicks off in March.

"I think Benji, like Robbie, wants to sort it out soon," Tigers coach Tim Sheens said.

"I think that's probably the next issue with the club.

"All good players staying at a club helps another good player (stay) and I think with Robbie signing that will help others as well.

"It is a snowball effect at times."

Farah has become a vital component of the Tigers' team since making his debut in 2003.

He was a key member of the Tigers premiership-winning outfit of 2005 and narrowly missed out on winning the Dally M medal in 2007, finishing a point behind Johnathan Thurston.

He is favourite to replace Danny Buderus in the NSW No.9 this year.

Farah said getting the chance to succeed Brett Hodgson, now at Huddersfield, as the club's captain was a huge honour but not a clinching factor in his decision to stay.

"It's definitely an honour to be named captain but that's not the only thing that made me stay," Farah said.

"But in saying that it is a big honour for me to run out there leading the boys and I can't wait for the first round to be able to do that."

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