Wests Tigers legend Benji Marshall has made a savage revelation about his former club, insisting his interest in their affairs finished when they let him go last year.
Marshall was unceremoniously dumped at the end of 2020 by the club he helped guide to the 2005 NRL premiership.
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He was then thrown a career lifeline by South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett, who unexpectedly extended Marshall's storied career to a 19th season.
At 36 and still showing glimpses of his brilliant best, Marshall says he's loving life at Redfern.
When asked about his thoughts on the Tigers and their early season struggles, however, the veteran playmaker gave a brutally honest answer.
“My interest in what they were stopped about in October when they let me go,” he said on Fox Sports' NRL 360.
“I was focused on what I was going to do next. I don’t take too much interest into what they’re doing, it doesn’t affect me like it used to when I was there.
“I’m fully invested in Souths. What they’re doing at the moment doesn’t bother me. When I was there it did, but not now.”
Marshall's exit at the Tigers was particularly harsh on the club great after learning he wasn't in coach Michael Maguire's plans through media reports.
The 36-year-old admits that the Tigers' dismal early season form in which they've conceded 70 points in back-to-back losses, comes as little surprise to him.
“They haven’t been up to scratch. They’ve had two pretty tough games, you have to take into account they played Canberra and the Roosters — two top four teams. Did you expect them to win any of those games?”
NRL 360 host Ben Ikin told Marshall that it wasn't so much the Tigers' losses that concerned him, but the apparent lack of improvement within the team.
“I expected them to be better,” Ikin said.
“It’s not always about wins and losses, what you want to see if you’re trying to build to something better that there are indicators in the performance that suggest you are moving forward.
“There was nothing about that game (against the Roosters) that suggests the Tigers are better than they were last year.”
Marshall says he's just focused on his own career with Souths now and admits he's happy to be referred to as "Benchie Marshall" once more if it means being able to still lace on the boots.
"They're still calling me that, it's fine. At least I'm still playing. It could be worse. They could be calling me Benji the builder," said the one-time world player of the year.
Having routinely warmed the pine for the Auckland Blues during his shock mid-career code switch to Super Rugby, the Rabbitohs' new super-sub says he couldn't care less if he starts or not.
"I got used to it when I went to union so it's all good. I've still got splinters from that," Marshall said.
"It's actually all good. I'll just sit there and get ready for the call and whatever it is - I played in the middle against Melbourne, played half on the weekend (against Manly) - I'll just come on and do it.
"The thing I have on my side is I can come on with a lot of energy and experience and try and help the side to calm down or whatever we need at the time.
"I've been around long enough to know what the side needs.
"I'm just enjoying being able to still play and contribute to the team.
"My role might not be the same but, regardless, it's just as important and I see myself here, when I come on, complementing other guys.
"I'm loving it. I'm just loving being here. It's a great club, it's a great vibe at training and we're starting to get better on the field."
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