Watch: 'I know, I've been there' - Benji Marshall sends heartfelt message of support to Bernard Tomic

Controversial Australian tennis bad boy Bernard Tomic has received an offer of help from an unlikely Kiwi sportsman.

NRL star Benji Marshall has reached out to the tennis player after he made comments where he hinted at suffering from depression on reality TV show, 'I'm a Celebrity… get me out of here'.

"I actually felt really sorry for him after watching it," Marshall said.

"We need to get around our athletes and help out where we can.

"Times do get tough in the spotlight – I know, I’ve been there."

Tomic caused controversy while on the show when he said Australia could not win the Davis Cup title without him and that captain Leyton Hewitt knew it.

Hewitt has since confirmed Tomic is unlikely to represent Australia again.

"He's made some mistakes. It will be a long way back.

"He's digging a big hole for himself that he may never get out of."


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'We believe we can do something special' - David Fusitu'a bringing Mate Ma'a Tonga mindset to Warriors

Warriors winger David Fusitu'a has returned to his NRL team with plenty of valuable experience and a new mindset after an historic World Cup campaign with Mate Ma'a Tonga last year.

The 23-year-old scored five tries in the tournament, including a sensational hat-trick against the Kiwis in Tonga's 28-22 win as Tonga went on to become the first tier two nation to reach the semi-finals of Rugby League World Cup.

Now Fusitua says he feels that same belief Tonga had re-entering the Warriors camp ahead of this year's NRL competition.

"There's a little bit more experience, especially with the World Cup, and [I've] come away with a little bit more confidence.

"We believe we can do something special here and be the first team to do it here at the Warriors."

The Warriors have reached two Grand Finals since joining the NRL in 1995 but have lost on both occasions.

Fusitua says it won't be about implementing Tonga's strategies with the Warriors but instead using the same belief the Pacific team felt.

"I can do my best to replicate what I did in the World Cup or even be a better than that.

"The best thing is you come away from [Mate Ma'a Tonga] and you get a little bit of confidence from there so if that's what I can offer the team, that's what I'll do."

The Warriors have spent their pre-season with a training camp at Papamoa Beach where All Blacks captain Kieran Read came and spoke to them.

The team's first pre-season match is against the Storm in Rotorua next month.


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Warriors fans losing the faith as Kiwi NRL club struggles to recruit 2018 memberships

Poor results, a top eight drought and loss of key players are all beginning to stack up against the Warriors with club membership numbers all dropping significantly ahead of this season.

The Warriors fan base was recognised as one of the strongest this time last year, sitting sixth out of all clubs 12,074 memberships.

But that number has dropped significantly this year with 31 per cent opting out of their memberships - leaving the Warriors with 8,305 fans signed up and second to last on the table.

Only the Gold Coast Titans are worse with 5,335.

The Warriors have not qualified for the playoffs since reaching the Grand Final in 2011 with their best result of the past seven seasons being a ninth-placed finish in 2014.

Since their last Grand Final appearance, almost the entire club from front office to playing field has left the New Zealand franchise bar two players - Shaun Johnson and Simon Mannering.

But despite the changes and playoff absence, the faith remained amongst the loyal fanbase with a massive spike in memberships coming in 2016 when 18,350 fans joined only for that number to drop off again quickly in 2017.

The Warriors spent this offseason recruiting a number of experienced players to help redevelop a winning culture at the club, with Kiwi duo Tohu Harris and Adam Blair signing on after both winning NRL titles with the Melbourne Storm, although Blair would later have his 2009 title stripped due to salary cap breaches.

The pair are joined by five-eight Blake Green who also boasts winning experience after claiming a Super League title with the Wigan Warriors in 2013.

The Warriors begin their NRL season on March 10 away against the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Shaun Johnson leaves the field injured during the Warriors and Penrith Panthers' NRL match at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. , Round 19 of the 2017 NRL Rugby League Premiership season at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. 14 July 2017. Copyright photo: Renee McKay / www.photosport.nz
Shaun Johnson leaves the field injured during the Warriors and Penrith Panthers' NRL match at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland. Source: Photosport


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