Wests Tigers' legend Benji Marshall is adamant he still has a lot to offer the battling NRL club.
Wests Tigers Benji Marshall.
Coach Ivan Cleary agrees and says he wouldn't have brought the veteran playmaker back if that wasn't the case.
News of Marshall's return to the club for next season broke just a few hours before the Tigers rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to beat finals aspirant Manly 30-26 at Leichhardt Oval yesterday.
New Zealander Marshall 32, is indisputably one of the joint venture club's greatest ever players.
He played just over 200 games in 11 seasons from 2002 to 2013 and was an integral part of their 2005 premiership-winning team.
Marshall hasn't enjoyed the same level of success elsewhere.
He had a short and unproductive Super Rugby stint with the Blues in New Zealand in 2014.
The Kiwi back played out that year and the next two and a half seasons with St George Illawarra.
He added a third NRL club to his portfolio by linking with Brisbane this year but with a return to the Tigers set in stone,Cleary is looking forward to seeing some more Marshall magic in the black and orange.
"It's nice to to have a link to the past and Benji has probably contributed to the club on the field as much as anyone," Cleary said.
"He's really keen to contribute in the future, that's the main thing.
"He's really adamant he's got a lot left on the field and I wouldn't sign him if he didn't.
"But he's also got so much he can offer, mentorship and leadership.
"I think that's a nice story, it's good for both club and player and another cog in the wheel."
Tigers captain Aaron Woods, who had Marshall as a teammate for his first three seasons, was disappointed he would miss out on playing alongside the Kiwi again, after committing to join Canterbury next season.
"I was lucky enough to come through and play with him, he was probably one of the best leaders I've played under," Woods said.
"He's a team player. At the the same time, it doesn''t matter if you're a kid that's debuted or played 100 or 200 games, he treats everyone the same.
"It is pretty upsetting that I don't get to play with a bloke like Benji again but I'm still mates with him and still talk to him and I hope he does really well at the club next year."