Benji Marshall gets backing of Tigers coach

RUSSELL JACKSON
Last updated 13:02 16/05/2013
Fairfax Australia

Benji Marshall will start on the bench Friday night when the Tigers take on the Rabbitohs. Have we seen the best of Benji or is the best yet to come?

Benji Marshall
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SUPERSTAR: Benji Marshall of the Wests Tigers.

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Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter has made it clear he wants superstar Benji Marshall to remain at the NRL club and is confident the superstar wants to stay despite talk of a  rift between the pair.

Potter made the sensational call to dump Marshall to the bench earlier this week for Friday night's clash with competition leaders South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

Marshall will be off contract at the end of next year and his management team are believed to be in talks with the Tigers over a  reported $4 million extension that would keep him at the club until the end of the 2017.

''I think Benji wants to ultimately stay at the Tigers for the rest of his career,'' Potter said.

''I want him to and I think quite a lot of other people do as  well.''

The 28-year-old's demotion prompted speculation Marshall and Potter had had a falling out and that could jeopardise the five-eighth's chances of remaining at the club.

''Benji wasn't happy. A player of his calibre, you don't expect to be happy with being on the bench. I don't expect for him to be there too long,'' Potter said.

''We're certainly not best of friends this week at the moment. But I'm comfortable with that. I don't have to be best friends with the players.''

The Tigers have lost a club record-equalling six consecutive games going into the clash with the Rabbitohs.

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