Benji Marshall to play for Dragons in Eels clash

Benji Marshall will make his St George Illawarra debut on Saturday after the Dragons confirmed they’d reached a compensation agreement with the Wests Tigers.

Benji Marshall has been cleared to make his Dragons debut in Saturday's stoush with Parramatta. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Benji Marshall has been cleared to make his Dragons debut in Saturday's stoush with Parramatta. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

In a short statement on their website, Dragons chief executive officer Peter Doust said he had agreed to a set of terms with Tigers counterpart Grant Mayer allowing the NRL to register Marshall’s contract.

The Tigers had inserted a clause in Marshall’s release last year allowing them to seek compensation if he returned to the NRL with any other club within two years.

‘‘The whole process has been complex but all parties are pleased to see that Benji will return to rugby league,’’ Doust said.

‘‘We understood and respected the position of the Wests Tigers, we had a similar clause in the contract of Mark Gasnier when he left to play rugby union in France, the only difference being that he returned to our club.’’

And coach Steve Price indicated Marshall will be on deck to help reverse the Dragons’ wretched recent form after a searching week of training.

‘‘Benji has ticked all the boxes this week and is very keen to get back out on the field and play,’’ Price said.

‘‘He has trained well and fitted in really well with the group and we know that he will only get better as the weeks go by and he gets more rugby league training and games under his belt but we are looking forward to having him as a part of our team [on Saturday].’’

The Dragons unveiled Marshall’s capture last Friday on a $1.1 million deal for two-and-a-half years after the former New Zealand international quit rugby union.

He trained with the squad on Friday morning.

Benji Marshall and Dragons coach Steve Price. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Benji Marshall and Dragons coach Steve Price. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

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