24 Aug 2013

Marshall keeps Tigers spot

8:52 am on 24 August 2013

Benji Marshall hasn't played his last game for Wests Tigers, with the coach Mick Potter rejecting calls to drop the rugby-bound former Kiwis captain.

Potter's retained the out-of-sorts playmaker at No.6 for the National Rugby League side's clash with St George Illawarra at the SCG, despite the Tigers being granted permission to play the young halfback Luke Brooks this weekend.

Marshall's form has been indifferent this season and with his departure to the Blues imminent, the club's been under pressure to axe him in favour of Brooks, who's seen as a future star.

Legendary halfbacks Andrew Johns and Peter Sterling both suggested they would axe Marshall and promote youngster Luke Brooks for the match against the Dragons, with Johns saying that Marshall's heart is just not in it anymore.

Potter, who controversially benched Marshall earlier this season, opted against dropping the New Zealand star but was forced to omit centre Blake Ayshford from the side that was thumped by the Roosters.

Ayshford, who will join Cronulla after this season, suffered a fractured eye-socket in the loss to the Roosters and has played his last game for the Tigers.

The NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert allowed the Tigers to breach the second-tier salary cap by playing the 18-year-old against the Dragons on Saturday.

Marshall needs two more games to reach 200 NRL appearances.

The Tigers also have permission to play the 20-year-old prop Nathan Brown.