Axed Tiger Marshall happy for Reynolds

Laine Clark
Benji Marshall has taken his West Tigers dumping from first grade on the chin

A "shocked and disappointed" Benji Marshall has vowed to fight his way back into the Wests Tigers side after his surprise axing in the wake of their upset NRL loss to Gold Coast.

The veteran playmaker says he is happy for the man who has replaced him in the Tigers line-up for Saturday night's clash with Canberra - Josh Reynolds.

Livid Tigers coach Michael Maguire hinted at changes when he questioned his players' character after the Titans' boilover win on Sunday, saying he was "sick and tired" of their inconsistency.

However, Marshall was still surprised when Maguire told him he had been dumped for the Raiders clash among six changes.

"It was a tough one... I was a little bit shocked and disappointed that I got dropped," Marshall told Fox League's NRL 360.

"Madge (Maguire) was up front and honest with me which I appreciated.

"(But) I will train hard and fight my way back into the team somewhere, whether that is next week or not, I will do my best to get back."

In what may be his final NRL season, Marshall had been one of the Tigers' best of 2020, sitting equal second in the Dally M voting after round four.

But the 35-year-old said he could understand Maguire's decision after a "pretty brutal" video review of the Titans upset.

"I probably led us home when we got a lead and game managed us to get home against Cronulla (the week before)," Marshall said.

"Against the Titans we got to the same lead and I failed to do that.

"I understand where he (Maguire) is coming from - I just need to be better."

Marshall's pain was eased somewhat by Reynolds' inclusion after a rollercoaster 24 hours for his good mate.

Reynolds was selected just a day after he had returned a positive result to a random drug test.

He was pulled over by police on Monday morning while driving home from Sydney airport after flying home with the team.

But the Tigers said a subsequent test at Sutherland Police Station came back negative before being sent for further analysis, which could take months.

It was more drama for Reynolds after he became embroiled in an off-field scandal involving allegations he was conned by his ex-partner.

"Obviously he has had things not go well for him," Marshall said of Reynolds.

"As a mate and a teammate you feel really sorry for him.

"No one deserves the opportunity more than Josh does, he is such a team player.

"He was due for some good luck. I am really happy for him."