With reports emerging from Australia that St George half-back Benji Marshall faces an uncertain future in the NRL, is Super League becoming more and more a realistic proposition?
Marshall has been offered a new deal by the Dragons, but reports are suggesting he is holding off on signing it, as discussed at length on Australian radio’s Triple M recently. They describe his career as being at a “crossroads” – and if Marshall isn’t going to stay in the NRL, you feel some Super League clubs may be put on alert over a potential signature.
Marshall is still only 31, and you feel he could certainly offer Super League something in 2017 – so if (key word), Marshall was to join the competition, what sort of clubs could make a play for him?
Hull were recently linked with a reported interest in Marshall, and if he did join them for 2017, he would certainly fit the bill of a marquee signing. The Black and Whites often look to the NRL for new recruits, and this year, the likes of Frank Pritchard, Sika Manu and Mahe Fonua have made the leap across to Super League. Could Hull be a potential suitor?
Half-backs are in high demand all across the world these days, but if the Rhinos wanted someone to nurture the likes of Liam Sutcliffe and Jordan Lilley, who better than Marshall? The Rhinos have publicly stated in the past that they would use the marquee player ruling to their advantage if the right player came up, and if 2016 proves to be a disappointment on the field, would the Rhinos perhaps be tempted?
The Dragons have plenty of history with the NRL and high-profile recruitment, and would Marshall potentially be another big name who could be lured to Perpignan? The Dragons have the advantage of a different culture and climate on their side, and plenty of imports already there, could that too be key to get Marshall in through the door at Stade Gilbert Brutus?
Salford are no strangers to flexing their muscles in the transfer market in recent years, but any potential move for Marshall could be enhanced by the position of Tim Sheens. Salford’s director of rugby was coach when Marshall was at Wests Tigers, the club with whom he undoubtedly produced his best form. Could that be key to any potential lure over to Super League?