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Competition - NRL Premiership
Round - Round 01
Teams – Melbourne Storm v St George Illawarra Dragons
Date –    7th of March 2016
Venue – AAMI Park, Melbourne VIC
Photographer – Brett Crockford
Description –

St George Illawarra Dragons halfback Benji Marshall has cast aside contract talks ahead of the fixture against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Monday.

The New Zealand international is presently signed with the Red-and-Whites until the end of this season and notes any discussions about extending his stay are presently between his manager and Club recruitment staff.

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Marshall, 31, has been battling with a reoccurring hamstring strain for much of this season which he concedes has dampened his opportunity this far to put in a string of consistent games.

However, the halfback has shown his gratitude to the Club’s medical staff for helping him overcome this problem with his sights now firmly set on playing his role in the team.

“You cannot plan in footy what happens to you when it comes to injuries and such but you can with your rehabilitation,” said Marshall.

“The training staff has given me a very good plan when it comes to my own rehabilitation and I’m feeling pretty confident.

“Most of the things we do here is planned by the medical staff and I have full trust in what they put me through.

“I know that the harder you work the better you get so hopefully it gets me in good stead for the rest of the season.

“I am coming up to playing my 250th first-grade game soon which will be nice to achieve and for a longer term focus I would like to try and reach 300 games.

“Nothing has changed since the last time I spoke about it and I suppose until my management and wherever I am to go gets sorted out I just want to stay out of it.

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“I can understand why it hasn’t been resolved as I haven’t played enough games this year to really stamp my case so until I get a few games under my belt I’m not too worried.

“At the end of the day I would like to stay here and want to stay here but I’m also a realist and understand there’s a good chance that might not happen.

“I’m confident I’m going to have a contract somewhere I just don’t know where.

“Myself and Paul McGregor have both agreed to stay out of it and leave it to my Management and the recruitment staff.

“We have a great relationship where he knows how much I want to be on the field and I know how much he wants me to be on the field.

“Until I get that chance to put a few back-to-back games together it’s pretty hard to state a case for that.”

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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