The Benji Marshall soap opera has ended, with the returning rugby league superstar spurning an offer from the Sharks to link with the Dragons.
As revealed by Fairfax Media, Marshall imposed a Friday 5pm deadline on St George Illawarra to table a formal offer after becoming increasingly agitated about his future.
But he formally told Cronulla he wouldn’t be heading to the Shire on Friday afternoon. The Dragons have called a press conference for 5.45pm on Friday to formally announce his capture.
Cronulla chief executive Steve Noyce confirmed the lure of linking with a number of former Tigers teammates wasn’t enough to convince the 29-year-old to sign with the Sharks.
“We made Benji a very good offer and are disappointed he won’t be joining our club,” Noyce said in a statement.
“We have strong values surrounding mateship here at the Sharks and with a collection of his good friends at the club thought that may have swayed him. As it turned out that obviously wasn’t the priority for him with his final decision. We can accept that and we wish him well.”
Marshall’s future had been the centre of much debate after he announced he was quitting rugby union last month.
He is expected to partner Gareth Widdop in the Dragons halves and could feature for St George Illawarra as soon as next week’s clash with Parramatta.