Benji Marshall to depart Tigers at season end

Benji Marshall masterminded the Tigers' Round 1 win over the Dragons. Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Benji Marshall is yet to decide whether he will retire from the NRL at the end of the season, but if he plays on it won't be with the Wests Tigers.

Wests Tigers have ended days of speculation by announcing they would not be offering their co-captain a contract for 2021.

It will come as a huge blow for the 35-year-old club legend who has played 320 NRL games - 253 of which have been for the Tigers including their maiden 2005 premiership.

It's understood his intention is to play on next year with reports indicating his manager has already begun calling rival NRL clubs to secure his future.

"As a club, we were thrilled to welcome Benji back to Wests Tigers in 2018 and to see him return in a leadership role in this part of his career," Wests Tigers chief executive said.

"Over the past two-and-a-half years, Benji has performed as we knew he would on field but the reality with our roster management is that he will not be with Wests Tigers next year.

"Decisions around our playing roster are incredibly difficult ones to make, and this decision is not made lightly with the absolute respect this club has for Benji Marshall.

"While difficult, however, it is a decision that has been made as part of our constant roster management responsibilities in order to ensure clarity and certainty for our organisation moving forward.

"Whatever Benji chooses to do in 2021 - whether that is playing football or not - will be up to him and I have no doubt he will be a success.

"He is a terrific player and person and will unequivocally have the full admiration and respect of this organisation in whatever he does next in life."

Confirmation of Marshall's departure comes 24 hours after a brutal honesty session with the Tigers players and coach Michael Maguire where they addressed their disappointing form this season.

Effectively out of finals contention, players and coaching staff were looking for answers and told Maguire they felt like they were 'walking on eggshells' each week waiting to be dropped.

Winger David Nofoaluma said he was shocked and upset to see private conversations with the playing group leaked to media.

"It was a discussion amongst the group in that meeting and my concern is it got out," he said. "That affects a lot of area inside our bubble, I'm definitely disappointed in that.

"A lot of things don't get out at clubs above us on the ladder.

"That's something that us as a playing group needs to address.

"We don't need to be pointing fingers at anyone because we don't know who it was."