NRL Expert @JennaBrooks
Inside the NRL: Benji Marshall returns to the Wests Tigers
Last Updated: 14/08/17 4:00pm
Jenna Brooks has the latest from the NRL as the Wests Tigers welcome home a club legend, while crisis talks commence at the Gold Coast Titans. Plus find out where James Graham might be headed?
Could James Graham be headed for New Zealand?
I touched on this last week, but with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the salary cap, it's difficult to do business, and the Bulldogs are one club that look to be in trouble.
Reports in Australia suggest members of the Canterbury board have already begun talks with rival clubs, desperately trying to release players in order to remain under the salary cap, and their captain has been linked with a move to the Warriors.
Graham is under contract for next season, but it's believed the England international is one of a number of Bulldogs players who have been told they are free to break the deal.
Trouble Down Under
There's talk Down Under that NRL players could boycott not just the Dally M's, but events leading up to the finals if pay demands are not met.
The Sunday Telegraph is reporting that the pay negotiations between the governing body and its players is expected to come to a head this week, when the NRL officials meet with the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) to hopefully come to an agreement.
The Dally M Awards, the annual captain's call and the Grand Final fan day are just some of the events that players could miss should an agreement not be met.
The biggest issues being negotiated, are the players call for a guaranteed revenue share, the size of the salary cap as well as other elements such as injury compensation.
"I'm coming home, and it feels good."
They are the words Benji Marshall told Fairfax Media after it was announced the rugby league veteran would return to his former club, the Wests Tigers on a one-year deal.
Once considered the best playmaker in the game, the 2010 Golden Boot winner admits it was an opportunity he has wanted for a long time.
"I never wanted to leave the place, and I've tried several times to get back and now I've got my chance."
At 32 years old, it's likely Marshall will finish his illustrious career at the club he spent 10 years with when he started in the sport.
Tigers Coach, Ivan Cleary, believes Marshall will bring an enormous amount of experience to the side.
"I look forward to working with Benji over the coming year, he has a lot to offer this club and I know he's keen to return and make a positive impact on Wests Tigers."
"He brings more than 250 games of NRL experience back to this club, which will be invaluable for our young side," Cleary said.
After leaving the Tigers at the end of 2013, Marshall made the switch to rugby union, before signing with St George Illawarra in 2014. He then moved north to play under Wayne Bennett at the Brisbane Broncos.
The Gold Coast Titans called a 'crisis meeting' on Monday, which lasted almost four hours.
The club's CEO Graham Annesley said nothing was official at this point, but reports suggest coach Neil Henry will be sacked next week after falling out with the Titans' under performing full-back Jarryd Hayne.
Both Henry and Hayne are contracted until the end of next season, with Henry believed to earn less than half of what the club's marquee player gets paid - a salary of more than $1 million dollars a year (£610,000).
Annesley said: "It's broader than what might appear on the surface in relation to Jarryd and Neil. They're the issues the board want to feel comfortable about before making a final decision."
The emergency talks were called after Hayne admitted that Henry hadn't spoken to him in the lead up to the Titans game against St George Illawarra, and the two-time Dally M winner said he would walk away if he wasn't wanted.
"I don't know, up until this week I thought the (relationship) was all right," Hayne said.
"If his opinion has changed from what he told me then that's for him. For me I will talk to my manager during the week to figure it out. If he doesn't want me here then I'll move on."