Wests Tigers superstar Benji Marshall says he's relieved to be freed of the responsibility of the No.7 jumper as he eyes a return to the running game which made him famous.
Marshall, showing the benefits of his first full pre-season in five years, is relishing his shift back to five-eighth for the 2013 NRL season, with new coach Michael Potter set to hand youngster Jacob Miller the halfback role.
With the Tigers without a recognised halfback in 2012, when then coach Tim Sheens moved Tim Moltzen to fullback, Marshall was handed the organisational role, which seemed to stymie so of his natural flair.
"It's something that's probably not as suited to my game,'' Marshall said of playing halfback.
"If I had to say there was a certain style that suited it's playing wider with a bit more space and a bit more room to move.
"Last year we didn't really have another choice at halfback, someone had to put their hand up and that was me.
"I was still getting the boys over the line, I just couldn't get over the line myself as much.
"I want to run the ball a bit more - last year my running game was down a bit, I was probably trying to ball play a bit too much.
"I set up a few tries but I want to score a few this year.''
That's an ominous warning to the Tigers' NRL rivals, with Marshall revealing he had added some muscle following a torturous pre-season campaign under Potter.
"Mick Potter's brought back that old school mentality of run until you collapse or run until you vomit - that's been the case for us,'' Marshall said.
"I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have a tough pre-season - usually I don't have to be back until January so to be back in November was a bit of a shock.
"I really enjoyed it, got the chance to put on a bit of size and get a bit stronger for the season.''
Marshall and Miller will get their first chance to impress in Saturday night's trial match against Parramatta at Campbelltown Stadium.
The Kiwi Test skipper said he was also looking forward to going into the season minus the expectation of premiership favouritism after the Tigers faltered badly when carrying the tag last year to miss the finals altogether.
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