Kiwis veteran Benji Marshall will not play for West Tigers next NRL season.
The club has confirmed speculation that the playmaker will leave the team that he led to 2005 Grand Final glory at the end of this season.
Marshall debuted for the Tigers in 2003 and has since made 253 first-grade appearances for the Western Sydney team
He's expressed a desire to play on beyond this season, but is deemed surplus to requirements by coach Michael Maguire, who wants to rebuild his playing roster.
"As a club, we were thrilled to welcome Benji back to Wests Tigers in 2018 and to see him return in a leadership role in this part of his career," says Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe.
"Over the past two-and-a-half years, Benji has performed as we knew he would on field, but the reality with our roster management is that he will not be with Wests Tigers next year.
"Decisions around our playing roster are incredibly difficult ones to make and this decision is not made lightly, with the absolute respect this club has for Benji Marshall.
"While difficult, however, it is a decision that has been made as part of our constant roster management responsibilities in order to ensure clarity and certainty for our organisation moving forward."
Sydney Morning Herald reports Marshall's manager has already offered the veteran up to several NRL clubs for the 2021 season, with the 35-year-old eager to play one final season before retirement.
"Whatever Benji chooses to do in 2021 - whether that is playing football or not - will be up to him and I have no doubt he will be a success," Pascoe adds.
"He is a terrific player and person, and will unequivocally have the full admiration and respect of this organisation in whatever he does next in life."
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