Wests Tigers icon Benji Marshall will make his long-awaited return after he was brutally axed after round four of the NRL premiership.
Marshall was pushed out of the 17 after the Tigers’ shock final-minute loss to the Gold Coast Titans in early June, and was replaced by former State of Origin star Josh Reynolds at five eighth.
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Although the New Zealander proved a valuable playmaker in attack, Marshall’s defence came under scrutiny after he registered the most missed tackles in the opening four rounds of the 2020 premiership.
However, the 35-year-old veteran will start on the bench for Friday evening’s round nine clash against the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium.
Benji Marshall has played 245 matches for the Wests Tigers since his NRL debut in 2003.Source:AAP
Considering forward Joseph Leilua is set to miss four weeks for his dog shot during Saturday’s loss to the Penrith Panthers, halfback Luke Brooks believed the Tigers were in desperate need of Marshall’s experience.
“On the weekend, we probably needed someone like Benji to score some points there,” Brooks said on Wednesday.
“He has got that X-factor. Losing BJ (Leilua) for four weeks, he was that X-factor, so I think we will see Benji in our side again.”
After the duo formed a dynamic threat last month, Reynolds and Luke Brooks will be retained as the Tigers starting halves.
BREAKING: Benji Marshall will make his return to the Wests Tigers’ bench tomorrow night against South Sydney. Story to come on @AAPNewswire #NRL
BRONCOS CONTINUE TO CHOP AND CHANGE
In the hope of avoiding a cataclysmic seventh consecutive NRL defeat, Anthony Seibold has continued to tinker with the Brisbane Broncos’ side.
Despite calls from fans to give Thomas Dearden more time on the field, the 19-year-old halfback has been dropped off the bench ahead of Saturday evening’s match against the struggling Canterbury Bulldogs.
Meanwhile, Kotoni Staggs returns to the Broncos side after passing a fitness test, while English speedster Herbie Farnworth moves to the left wing.
Having managed only one try and one try assist in eight games this season, New Zealand representative Jamayne Isaako also misses out for Brisbane.
Broncos fans have been calling for Tom Dearden to be promoted from the bench to start in the halves for weeks.
Two days ago Anthony Seibold had a long post-training chat with Dearden and now it looks like the 19yo has dropped off the bench and is out of the team altogether #NRL https://t.co/C37itxETUq
ROOSTERS BOOSTED BY TRIO
The Sydney Roosters have been riddled with injury this season, but have remained premiership favourites due to their impressive squad depth.
Sydney lost both Victor Radley and Sam Verrills to ACL tears in last month’s match against the St George Illawarra Dragons, potentially ending their seasons.
During last weekend’s enthralling encounter with the Melbourne Storm, the reigning premiers also lost captain Boyd Cordner to concussion and Daniel Tupou also suffered an ankle injury.
But the Roosters have received an additional boost for Thursday evening’s clash against the North Queensland Cowboys, with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Nat Butcher and Lindsay Collins each set to play after a successful captain’s run.
NRL Round 9: Full team lists revealed
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