Benji Marshall sends apology to St George Illawarra fans for dismal 2016 season after leaving the club

Goodbye: Benji Marshall. Picture: Chris Lane
Goodbye: Benji Marshall. Picture: Chris Lane

St George Illawarra halfback Benji Marshall has posted an apology to Dragons’ fans on social media to mark his exit from the club.

Marshall has left the Dragons after two-and-a-half years at the club he joined in 2014 after an aborted stint in Super Rugby.

Marshall was one of the club’s best in 2015, narrowly missing out on the Dally M medal as he led St George Illawarra to the NRL finals for the first time in four seasons.

The 31-year-old former New Zealand international posted a message on Instagram on Thursday in which he accepted responsibility for the Dragons’ dismal 2016 season.

Picture: Chris Lane

Picture: Chris Lane

"I am personally sorry for the results on the field this year and the part I played in that," he wrote.

"But I'm glad I could be a part of last year's team in making the finals for the first time in four years which was a highlight for me.

"Just want to say thank you to @nrl_dragons club, coaching staff, sponsors and more importantly the fans for giving me the opportunity and lifeline to come back and play this great game ," Marshall posted.

"I will be forever grateful for that chance.

"Good luck to the club for next season and hope it all goes a lot better than this one."

One of rugby league's most charismatic players, Marshall left the NRL at the end of 2013 after 10 seasons at the Wests Tigers.

He was released from the remaining two years of his Tigers contract after failing to secure an extended deal from the club after a 201-game career that included premiership success in 2005.

Marshall, who played mostly halfback at the Dragons, said he was thankful he had been given a second opportunity in the NRL.

Marshall played 54 games for the Dragons and reportedly rejected a $300,000 contract from the club to play on in 2017.

Instead, the veteran of 27 Tests for New Zealand finds himself on the outer with Drew Hutchison expected to be given the first opportunity to play alongside Gareth Widdop in the Dragons' halves.

Marshall wants to play on in 2017 but is yet to attract serious interest from an NRL club.

with AAP


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