Elias changes tune over Marshall

24 December 2017 23:37:39 GMTPlus11
Benji Marshall

Benji Marshall's been welcomed back to Wests Tigers by club legend Benny Elias, who previously slammed him over his departure four years ago.

Elias was critical of the former New Zealand international, who played 201 games for the Tigers in his first stint, for leaving and then joining St George Illawarra after abandoning his bid to make it in Super Rugby in 2014.

He has done everything in the game but he still has talent and class; you never lose that.

Benny Elias

But he's changed his tune since then, and feels the 32-year-old will be a big asset to Ivan Cleary's side.

Elias says his response to Marshall's exit was due to him having previously said he would never play for another club.

"I took that personally and said my two bob's worth ... but we all take different directions and life's journey moves in mysterious ways," he added.

As a veteran, and someone who has developed into a mentor, Marshall's now seen by Elias as a player who can bring out the best in the likes of Josh Reynolds and Luke Brooks.

"His experience and the respect he is held in by the club is so valuable and I think it is a massive coup because he is going to be great for Reynolds and Brooks, but also the young kids the Tigers have got who are on the fringes," said Elias.

"He has done everything in the game but he still has talent and class; you never lose that. I understand why Ivan has brought him back and I think it will pay off for him big time - it is great to have him home."

Marshall says he left the Tigers in 2013 because the five-year contract he'd agreed was not going to be honoured by the club.

He explained he'd also needed a change at that time, but felt he was in a good place now and was delighted to be back.

Wests Tigers are 15.00 to finish in the top eight.

The Tigers are 3.75 to win their first game of the season against Sydney Roosters, who are 1.28.

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