The Wests Tigers may not want Benji Marshall on their books next season, but the club is still willing to make a huge financial sacrifice to give the club legend a fairytale farewell.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Tigers are prepared to shift their Round 20 home game against the Eels at Bankwest Stadium to Leichhardt Oval, which would cost them $100,000.
The NRL are set to rubberstamp venues for the final two rounds of the 2020 season on Monday, with the Tigers set to request the switch.
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Tigers officials are believed to be willing to sacrifice ticket sales at the more corporate friendly Bankwest Stadium to give Marshall a well-deserved Leichhardt farewell.
The 35-year-old has scored 93 tries and 1,220 points in 320 NRL games since his debut in 2003 and first appeared at Leichhardt Oval in 2004 also against the Eels in a remarkable piece of sporting symmetry.
The NRL and Bankwest officials are supportive of the mooted venue switch to honour one of the game’s greats.
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The NRL’s strict COVID-19 protocols mean that just 7,500 fans are allowed to attend matches at Bankwest Stadium, while at Leichhardt Oval that number slips to just 3,200.
Those tickets would sell like hot cakes with fans desperate to say they were there for Benji’s last game in Tigers colours and possibly in the NRL.
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The game would also double as Chris Lawrence’s final game for the Tigers before retiring at the end of the season.
Marshall has played 253 games for the club and should he play in the final four matches he will bow out in his 257th and final outing for the Tigers at their spiritual home of Leichhardt Oval in a fitting farewell.