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Wests Tigers Coach Mick Potter is confident his players will ensure Benji Marshall walks off Leichhardt Oval on Friday night as a winner.

Having asked for a release this week from the final two years of his current contract, subject to board approval, Marshall will wear the Wests Tigers colours for the final time possibly at the historic ground in a must win match against the Warriors.

I think this will galvanise the players. We will see the best of the team and there is no better time because we are right on the edge of slipping away or trying to mount a challenge for the eight, Potter said.

Ive spoken to Benji numerous times this week and he wants to give it his best shot. He wants to finish on a high note and he wants to show everyone the player they have come to known who can help the team win games.

He wants to leave Wests Tigers on the best possible note. Benji is one of the legends of the Club and he helped make the brand of the Wests Tigers. He has been the face of the Wests Tigers for so long.

Potter admitted Marshalls decision was disappointing and caught him by surprise, saying he would have loved to have seen the Kiwi international finish his career in rugby league and at the Wests Tigers.

It is disappointing for the Club. I didnt see it coming. I was hopeful that he would re-sign. I was hopeful that we would have him for at least two more years and then to go (around) again after that, he said.

Potter also confirmed his working relationship with Marshall is fine

Im sure I wasnt his favourite person when I put him on the bench against Souths. At the time, I thought that was the right thing, Potter added.

Benji has bounced back and has been a true professional. I still like more out of Benji but there has been no lack of trying. He is a good person and I admire the way he carries himself.

I think he is a man of principles and he is an honest guy. If you look at him holistic, he is a good person and I rate him.

Potter said now was not the time to blood talented half Luke Brooks or Mitchell Moses knowing Marshall will not be there next year.

We are trying to get into the semi-finals and if we want to do that, then Benji Marshall gives us the best possible chance., he said.

"Luke and Mitchell are just two of the guys we have got coming through who I think will move forward. Some of the young guys who have played this year have taken their opportunities and have secured their place within the top squad.

"They have shown what they can do and there are more players coming. It just shows you what good recruitment we have got here at Wests Tigers."


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Wests Tigers respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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