Two weeks out from the new NRL season, captain Robbie Farah says the Wests Tigers have finally closed the chapter on Benji Marshall's time with the club.
Marshall begins his Super Rugby career with Auckland-based franchise the Blues this weekend after 14 years with the Tigers, including the 2005 premiership.
Young gun Luke Brooks is earmarked to take over Marshall's playmaking role as the Tigers look to bounce back from a horror 2013.
It is a season of significant transition for the Tigers and, ahead of their final trial against Cronulla on Saturday, Farah said the club had finally called time on Marshall's association with the club.
"Obviously, the problem with Benji last year was, and he would be the first to admit it, he was out of form so that was difficult for him and he was such an important part of our team so, when he wasn't playing to his best, that affected how we were playing," Farah said on Friday.
"Everyone knew that when Benji was playing well, that we were a lot better side so that was the difficult thing, and everything else that went on in the press affected him and affected the squad.
"But that chapter has been closed. We have moved on. He is enjoying his time over there in New Zealand and he is looking forward to the start of their competition this season and we are looking forward to the start of ours.
"I am excited about the challenge ahead. Obviously, it is going to be a huge role for the person that steps up to cover that position but I know those boys are looking forward to it and it is something we are looking forward to as a squad as well."
Marshall's poor form was the subject of much scrutiny last year, as was the future of coach Mick Potter, who is off contract at the end of this season.
The Tigers have made a number of changes for 2014 and Farah is confident they can leave last year's disappointment behind.
"The addition of guys like Dene Halatau and Patty Richards being back at the club will be of great help, not only to me but for the young boys. Those guys bring a lot of experience with them."
Is Simon Mannering the best Warriors player of all time?Related story: (See story)