Benji unlikely to make debut against Eels

Benji Marshall during his first Dragons training session in Wollongong on Tuesday. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Benji Marshall during his first Dragons training session in Wollongong on Tuesday. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Steve Price is likely to resist the temptation to make Benji Marshall the cure-all to the Dragons woes, holding him back from a St George Illawarra debut against Parramatta on Saturday.

Only moments after Marshall stepped on the training paddock in his first hitout with the Dragons, Price said he would wait as long as possible before making a call on Marshall’s availability against the Eels.

‘‘I don’t think I’ll be naming Benji, not at the moment,’’ Price said. ‘‘I thought he trained really well [on Tuesday], but it’s still a long week and there’s a few things we need to tick off before we actually get down that path.

‘‘I can’t give a definite answer whether he’ll be in the Cutters or he’ll be playing against Parramatta. It’s still a little bit early to tell.

‘‘We’ll make a call as we go in the coming days.’’

Marshall was the last to leave the training paddock as his new teammates licked their wounds after an embarrassing loss to the table-topping Bulldogs on Sunday.

He engaged in a long discussion with St George Illawarra’s premiership-winning halfback Ben Hornby, a member of the Dragons’ coaching staff, before consulting Price and his assistant Paul McGregor.

Price said he had no issues with Marshall’s contract being registered with the NRL as the Tigers continue to wrangle over a compensation fee from the Dragons.

‘‘I’m sure that will be fixed up,’’ Price said. ‘‘It’s not an issue whatsoever and it’s just a matter of making sure he’s right and ready to go with the kilometres in his legs ... and he understands the structures and systems in place.’’

The Dragons will name their team to face the Eels on Tuesday afternoon.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop