NRL: 'No chance' of Benji going to rugby - Tigers boss

Benji Marshall. Photo / Getty Images
Benji Marshall. Photo / Getty Images

Wests Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys says there is "no chance" star standoff Benji Marshall will be released from his NRL contract so he can play rugby in Japan.

Marshall's manager, Martin Tauber, floated the idea of allowing the Kiwis captain to secure lucrative overseas opportunities during the 2013-14 off-season after the announcement that Sonny Bill Williams had signed with the Sydney Roosters.

Williams, still contracted to Japanese rugby club Panasonic Wild Knights, will rejoin the NRL next season with the Roosters, four seasons after walking out on the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2008.

Tauber unsuccessfully attempted to secure Marshall a stint in Japanese rugby in 2009 when then-NRL CEO David Gallop blocked a potential move, despite Marshall being off contract at the time.

Interim Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) CEO Shane Mattiske made it clear last week the code would not support players exploring opportunities in other sports while contracted to the NRL when he shut down Newcastle hooker Danny Buderus' coaching role with Super rugby team the Brumbies.

And with Marshall contracted until 2015 at the Tigers, any off-season activities would require a release from his current deal - a move Humphreys insists will not be happening. "Let me put your minds at rest. This will not be happening," Humphreys said.

"I have spoken with Benji's manager, Martin Tauber, this morning who assures me that Benji is totally committed to his contract with Wests Tigers for the next three seasons.
"... Benji Marshall will remain an integral member of our team and will not be seeking a release from his contract."

- AAP

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