Marshall reveals Tigers get-out clause - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Marshall reveals Tigers get-out clause

By Steve Jancetic 24/10/2009 04:34:11 PM Comments (0)

Benji Marshall has hit out at factions which tried to drive him out of Wests Tigers and revealed he has a secret get-out clause in his contract allowing him to quit the NRL club should coach Tim Sheens be removed.

Speaking on the eve of leading New Zealand into their opening Four Nations clash with Australia in London, Marshall said he was bitterly disappointed to learn there were some sections of the Tigers hierarchy questioning his value to the club.

One of those questioning Marshall's productivity was definitely not Sheens, the man Marshall claims has had the biggest influence on his career.

So strong is the bond between player and coach that Marshall had a clause inserted in his contract which allows him to leave should Sheens no longer be the coach at the club.

"He's my No.1 supporter, he always has been," Marshall said of the man who will be doing his best to stop the Kiwi superstar in his role as Australian coach at the Four Nations.

"I've got the utmost respect for him.

"I've even got a clause in my contract that says if he's not the coach at the Tigers that I don't have to be there.

"That's just the respect that I have for Tim.

"The main reason I signed with the club was that I felt I owed the club for the games that I've missed for them - the players in the team I thought I owed and for Tim as well.

"I could easily have left but I stayed for those reasons."

Which is why Sheens' revelation this week that there were elements in the club that wanted Marshall gone hurt so much.

Marshall earlier this year turned down massive offers to switch codes and play rugby union in Japan or Europe to stay loyal to the Tigers, re-signing with the club through to the end of 2011.

He has vowed to throw egg in their face of those doubting his value to the Tigers, those doubts surfacing as a result of the 24-year-old's injury troubles in recent seasons and his struggles following a move to halfback earlier this year.

But as Sheens is quick to point out, Marshall missed only one game in 2009, and his brilliant form over the back half of the season when restored to the No.6 jumper fell just short of lifting the Tigers into the finals.

Asked if he knew there had been rumblings from some quarters for him to be let go, Marshall said: "I didn't. I was pretty disappointed when I got told that this morning - I only found out from my manager.

"I'm not going to make any rash comments or make any knee-jerk reactions until I speak to Tim about it, but at the end of the day I put everything aside to re-sign with the club and gave my loyalty back to the club because of what they've done for me.

"To hear some of that stuff after I've re-signed, I would have liked to have known that before I re-signed.

"I can't do anything about it now. I'm happy with the season I had at the club and the coach was happy with my season and that's all that matters.

"They can say what they like but the next couple of years I think are going to be some of my best so they might want to change some of their opinions over the next couple of years."

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