Wests Tigers have confirmed that Benji Marshall will leave the club at the end of the 2020 season.
The 35-year-old, who has earned 28 caps for New Zealand, made his first-team debut for the Tigers in 2003 and is the club’s second mot-capped player, with 253 appearances to his name.
Tigers chair Lee Hagipantelis said: “Benji Marshall has been an incredible servant of this club for close to two decades, and has had an invaluable impact in shaping who we are as Wests Tigers.
“Benji’s importance over the years has been seen clearly on field, but as of equal significance for our club has been his presence off it. He is a player and a person that has inspired generations of rugby league fans and I have no doubt that he will go down as one of the greatest ever players to represent Wests Tigers.”
Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe said: “As a club, we were thrilled to welcome Benji back to Wests Tigers in 2018 and to see him return in a leadership role in this part of his career.
“Over the past two-and-a-half years, Benji has performed as we knew he would on field but the reality with our roster management is that he will not be with Wests Tigers next year.
“Decisions around our playing roster are incredibly difficult ones to make, and this decision is not made lightly with the absolute respect this club has for Benji Marshall.
“While difficult, however, it is a decision that has been made as part of our constant roster management responsibilities in order to ensure clarity and certainty for our organisation moving forward.
“Whatever Benji chooses to do in 2021 — whether that is playing football or not — will be up to him and I have no doubt he will be a success. He is a terrific player and person and will unequivocally have the full admiration and respect of this organisation in whatever he does next in life.”
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