The Wests Tigers and Kiwis captain Benji Marshall is vowing to defend the assault charge against him stemming from an early morning incident in Sydney's CBD at the weekend.
Speaking for the first time since he allegedly hit a 24-year-old man outside a McDonald's outlet in George St on Saturday morning Marshall thanked the club and members of the public for their support.
He refused to comment on the specifics of the case, other than to say he would defend the assault charge when he appears in court next month.
Tigers coach Tim Sheens also confirmed Marshall would start in Monday night's opening round match against Canterbury dismissing any concerns over his mental state.
The NRL has cleared Marshall to continue playing pending the outcome of the court case.