St George Illawarra Dragons halfback Benji Marshall has opened-up about his friendship with Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah ahead of the fixture between both teams at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Saturday.
Marshall, 30, spent the first eleven seasons of his first-grade career with the Tigers prior to his departure to compete in rugby union prior and, despite external speculation, established both a valued and respected friendship with Farah.
The Keebra Park junior admits that the Tigers skipper was the first to discipline him when he needed to be reprimanded but concedes those feelings will be put to the side come kick-off.
“One of the biggest wraps I have for Robbie is that during my playing career, alongside him, no one would stand up to me and tell it how it was,” said Marshall.
“But there were countless times where Robbie would have to have those conversations with me.
“As a friend, that’s pretty hard to do but that’s the respect he has for me which has helped me get back on my feet a few times.
“It’s pretty weird playing against Robbie but the last time we lined-up against each other we just got on and did what we had to do.
“After the game we shook hands and that’s not going to change this time around.”
Farah concedes that the Tigers are well aware of the threat posed by the Dragons halfback and will need to stick to their game plan if they are to overcome him.
“Seeing what Benji does definitely makes you feel nervous heading into a game and the way he has played this year and come back has been a credit to him,” said Farah.
“We definitely need to be on our guard when we come up against him.
“It’s one thing knowing what someone is going to do but another thing actually trying to stop it.”