Benji Marshall under fire for defection video
August 11, 2013
Benji Marshall has come under fire from his NRL club West Tigers since his video farewell to fans © Getty Images
Wests Tigers National Rugby League (NRL) coach Mick Potter has been handed sole power to decide whether fallen star Benji Marshall should be axed immediately following his defection to rugby union and bizarre video farewell to the club.
Marshall infuriated fans and club officials by donning an Auckland Blues jersey and loading his own interview on YouTube to officially announce he would be leaving the top flight rugby league competition in Australia and joining the Super Rugby franchise from next season.
The slap in the face came the day after the Tigers were beaten by wooden spoon favourites Parramatta. There are now calls for Marshall to be shown the door or dumped to the NSW Cup three games short of his 200th NRL appearance.
"I will be staying out of that decision. At the end of the day, that will be Mick's call," Tigers CEO Grant Mayer told Sportal. "It will be up to him to decide whether Benji plays a part in our next game against the Roosters. It's not up to us to tell Mick who to put in his team."
It would appear Potter, who is under pressure to keep his job, has nothing to lose by dumping Marshall. The former pin-up boy of the club is hopelessly out of form and seemingly counting down the days until his move to rugby.
Axing Marshall would give Potter the chance to blood some of the club's promising youngsters over the closing month of the season.
Asked the response to Marshall's video, Mayer continued: "It's disappointing from a club perspective but it's obviously a decision Benji was comfortable with at the time. We certainly don't agree with it."
Dressed in an Auckland jersey and smiling into the camera for his home video, Marshall expressed his sadness at leaving the NRL but excitement at joining a new code.
"It's been a sad time leaving the Tigers ... it's a time in my life I will never forget," Marshall said. "To all the people back home who support the Blues and rugby union in general, I just want to say how happy and excited I am to come back. I'm really looking forward to hopefully bringing a title to the Blues and hopefully one day representing the All Blacks."
Argentina coach Daniel Hourcade signs an extended contract to lead the Pumas until Rugby World Cup 2015
Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer believes the clubs supporters are the reason behind Yohan Cabaye's brilliant recent form
Swansea have progressed to the last 32 of the Europa League despite losing to St Gallen, but Wigan suffered a defeat at Maribor which sees them exit the competition
Roger Federer and his agent Tony Godsick have formed an agency called Team8, which is set to represent fellow tennis stars Juan Martin del Potro and Grigor Dimitrov
Ireland prop Cian Healy will miss the start of the Six Nations after being ruled out for eight weeks because of surgery on his right ankle
Tom Hamilton pays a visit to Oxford University Women's Rugby Football Club who have recently made headlines across the world, from Tokyo to New York
It's not a good time to be following English cricket, and that's reflected in the odds for the 3rd Test in Perth with the visitors 9/2 to win, a remarkable price given what happened in the summer but not too appealing given the events in the first two Te
Justin Pipe speaks to ESPN about how he almost gave up darts after losing his brother, and how a serious car accident almost ended his career
Australia conceded only two points in the rugby league World Cup final against New Zealand. Was this the heaviest victory in a final?
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the World Cup going south yet again, you are going the right way about it," John Taylor looks at the state of European rugby
Real Madrid put the seal on a fine Champions League group-stage campaign as they won 2-0 at FC Copenhagen on Tuesday - even if Cristiano Ronaldo did miss a penalty in the process
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini inexplicably appeared to miscalculate the mathematical conundrum that would have given his side top spot in their Champions League group
Arsenal have implemented special security measures for their players and fans for the Champions League trip to Napoli due to fears over hooliganism
Former boxer Mike Tyson has been forced to cancel appearances in London for his autobiography after finding out he is banned from entering the UK
Tuesday night's winner-takes-all Champions League encounter between Galatasaray and Juventus was abandoned after only 33 minutes with the game goalless due to a severe hailstorm in Istanbul
What is still at stake and all the Champions League group stage permutations, including Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City
The heavy weight of expectation rests uneasily on the broad shoulders of several British boxers at the moment, writes ESPN's Steve Bunce
Phil Taylor is gunning for a 17th World Championship crown, but the likes of Michael van Gerwen and Adrian Lewis will be out to deny him success at the Alexandra Palace
The name Alf-Inge Haaland will forever be associated with the Manchester derby, and a certain Mr Roy Keane
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner