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Wests Tigers legend Benji Marshall speaks for first time after knocking back monster offer from Super League club Hull FC

Legendary playmaker Benji Marshall has spoken for the first time since knocking back a monster pay deal with Super League club Hull FC, declaring “life’s not all about money”.

Hopes of Marshall’s illustrious NRL career ending on a fairytale note at Wests Tigers were dashed when coach Michael Maguire in August told him he wouldn’t be offered a contract for 2021.

And while the 2005 premiership hero was reportedly in talks to join the North Queensland Cowboys on a $150,000 contract, and later Hull on a blockbuster $722,000 deal, neither agreement eventuated.

Marshall said he had opted to prioritise family over money.

“Life’s not all about money and when I thought about the pros and cons, the pros were just about the money,” Marshall told Triple M.

“If it was about the money I probably would’ve retired five years ago. I haven’t been playing for much for the last few years.

“With COVID and a few family issues, I’d just prefer to stay in Sydney.”

A move to North Queensland would have linked Marshall with former Tigers teammate and recently appointed Cowboys coach Todd Payten, while if he had accepted the Hull FC offer he would have joined forces with ex-Tigers teammate and new Hull FC mentor Brett Hodgson.

The former Kiwis skipper has played 324 NRL games over the course of 18 years, in two stints with the Tigers and one with St George-Illawarra and Brisbane, while he made a short-lived switch to Super Rugby club the Auckland Blues in August 2013.

While every NRL club has returned to pre-season training and Marshall is still without a club for 2021, the 35-year-old isn’t giving up hope.

“I really want to play footy next year and at the moment nothing’s doing,” Marshall said.

“I’m in limbo.

“But at the same time, I feel very lucky that I’ve played over 300 games for 18 years now.”

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