He is one of the most marketable players in the game. When he is in form, there is no doubt Benji Marshall is also one of the best Rugby League players in the world.
With the Wests Tigers ridiculously questioning whether they should upgrade the contract of the best player in their lineup, the NRL should step in and make sure Benji Marshall isn’t lost to the game.
For years we saw some of Rugby Leagues best players leave the sport to go and play Rugby Union. Money was the deciding factor in every single one of these moves.
Now that the NRL has far more money than any other Rugby Union competition in the world, there should not be a single player that Rugby League loses that it wants to keep.
After seeing watching what Sonny Bill Williams was able to do for Rugby Union, there should have been no more questions. Rugby League should never let a situation like that arise again.
It did though…
As Israel Folau walked into the Australian Rugby Union test side and started to light the game up, started to get people actually talking about Rugby Union again, everyone within Rugby Leagues administration should have drawn a line in the sand.
This CAN NOT happen again!
It might though…
Benji Marshall is one of the stars of the NRL. There is talk that if Marshall decides to leave Rugby League he could be playing in the ITM Cup at the end of this year. This would be happening during the Rugby League World Cup.
Marshall would walk into any New Zealand or Australian based “Super” Rugby team he chose to play for. He would soon be playing for the All Blacks. He would also be a shoe in for the New Zealand Rugby Union Sevens team that plays in the Olympics.
The possibility of one of Rugby Leagues most marketable players doing any of that should be enough. That one of the most popular players amount young fans could be giving Rugby Union millions of dollars in publicity and marketing just via his mere presence should put an end to all of this.
Rugby League can not allow yet another of its own stars to be allowed to walk away because of a couple of extra dollars to give a free kick to Rugby Union.
The marketing nightmare of seeing Israel Folau scoring amazing tries in Rugby Union is bad enough. If we have to watch Benji Marshall doing something similar for the All Blacks, in the Olympic games, then every single administrator at the National Rugby League should be fired because that would be nothing short of a travesty.
Benji Marshall loves the Wests Tigers. He loves Rugby League. He doesn’t want to leave. For the sake of a few hundred thousand dollars, which the game can easily afford, he can not be allowed to go.
It is time that the NRL started to look at a marketing component to players salaries. We can not have a competition that generates hundreds of millions of dollars every year and that allows some of its best assets to walk out and join the opposition. It can not be allowed to happen ever again.
The National Rugby League needs to step in and make sure Benji Marshall remains in Rugby League. If they don’t, they are as much to blame for allowing him to leave as they are for allowing Israel Folau to be promoting Rugby Union every time he steps onto the field in 2013.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Oct 15, 2019 0