Marshall is on tenterhooks at Tigers training. (Phil Hillyard)
Marshall is on tenterhooks at Tigers training. (Phil Hillyard)

New cub delays Benji’s Tigers return

BABY watch has delayed Benji watch at the Wests Tigers.

The return of the Tigers' favourite son will not happen until the start of the season after Marshall ruled himself out of the second and final trial game Saturday night so he could focus on the birth of his first baby.

Marshall ditched last weekend's hitout in Cairns to be with wife Zoe for the expected arrival of their cub.

With his baby due to be born any minute, a fighting-fit Marshall is not taking any chances by travelling an hour south west to play against Cronulla at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.

Marshall is on tenterhooks at Tigers training. (Phil Hillyard)
Marshall is on tenterhooks at Tigers training. (Phil Hillyard)

"The baby is due any minute. I've got my phone in my pocket, and even when we train, I'll hand the phone to the trainers, just in case the phone call comes,'' Marshall told The Daily Telegraph.

"We were due last week.

"I'm anxious, excited, nervous, and I won't play this weekend because of it. It's a trial game. Had it been the season, maybe it would have been a little different, but don't tell the wife that.

"I want to be there for the first child. It's been a dream of mine to become a dad, we struggled for a few years to make it happen, and I want to make every moment count.''

It’s an exciting time for Marshall and wife Zoe.
It’s an exciting time for Marshall and wife Zoe.

One thing that has Marshall just as excited is the Tigers' season ahead, especially with how quickly new halves Luke Brooks and Josh Reynolds have clicked.

Marshall, who returns to the club where he won a premiership before eventually being shown the door at the end of 2013, expects his role to come off the bench - and likely assisting the halves.

Not being required to play 80 minutes in the early rounds, along with his long experience in the top flight, will ensure he is more than physically ready from round one against the Sydney Roosters.

As for Reynolds and Brooks, Marshall said: "I've never seen Josh train before here, but he trains how he plays.

"He brings a lot of energy to training, he's very competitive, and that rubs off on the other players.

"For Luke, his growth through the pre-season, I train with him in the gym and he's lifting stronger than he's ever lifted - I'll take credit because I push him on there.

"I think within himself he's confident, he knows it's his team, and me and Josh have stressed that to him. He's running the side, and we'll play off the back of it. That suits him because he loves to control, and that helps him step up.

"There is a quiet confidence within this group. The way we've recruited is very smart, there's a lot of experience and guys in the forwards who have played a lot of games like Russell Packer, Ben Matulino and Chris McQueen, who has played Origin.

"The best thing I've noticed is there's no pecking order in the locker room, nobody is better than anyone else, and everyone is on the same page.''



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