NRL: Benji Marshall free to make Dragons debut after compensation agreed
Benji Marshall cleared to make his St George Illawarra debut after the Dragons reached a deal with Wests Tigers.
Last Updated: 16/05/14 10:59am
The New Zealand international left the Tigers last year to take up a Super Rugby contract with the Blues, but quit the 15-man game after failing to make an impact with the Auckland outfit.
As part of his Wests Tigers release chief executive Grant Mayer inserted a clause of $200,000 to be paid to the club if the 29-year-old signed for another NRL team before 2015.
Terms have now been agreed between the parties meaning Marshall is available for the Dragons for Saturday's NRL clash against Parramatta Eels.
"I'd like to thank Peter (Dragons CEO Peter Doust) for his willingness to work with Wests Tigers to reach an agreement that was acceptable for both clubs," Wests CEO Grant Mayer told the club's official website.
"First and foremost Wests Tigers are very happy that Benji is back in the NRL and look forward to seeing him play for the Dragons.
"We have the utmost respect for Benji, he's a Life Member of Wests Tigers and played 201 games for the club over 11 seasons. Benji will always be a part of this club no matter which team, or code, he plays.
"We have been consistent with our messaging since Benji announced his desire to return to rugby league, this negotiation was about protecting the sanctity of the contract which Benji had with Wests Tigers for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
"The agreement we've reached with the Dragons is not onerous or over the top, and we believe is a fair commercial set of terms for a marquee player such as Benji to be taking to the field for a rival club.
"Moving forward I believe our game has reached a stage where transfer fees will become the norm, we see it working in other professional sports and given that rugby league is now a billion dollar business the time has come for it to become common place."