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Prodigious New Zealand five-eighth Benji Marshall is asking for a release from his West Tigers contract two years early in a bid to kick-start a career in rugby union.

The crowd-pleasing playmaker’s manager Martin Tauber confirmed to Fairfax Media over the weekend about the decision and that his client was keen to end his time with the club at the end of the season.

''I've had a conversation with the chief operating officer Grant Mayer, and I've advised him of Benji's decision,'' Tauber said. ''Benji will play out the balance of the 2013 year but will seek an early release.''

New Zealand’s Test captain from 2008-2012, Marshall has fallen out of favour with new Tigers coach Mick Potter and was benched in round 10 of the NRL against South Sydney.

Tauber was hoping to extend Marshall’s contract, which it’s claimed the Tigers had given a handshake agreement to upgrade the players deal until 2017.

Auckland Blues and NSW Waratahs have been mentioned as possible Super Rugby destinations for Marshall, as he’s been adamant he didn’t want to play against the Tigers for another NRL club.

Tigers interim chief executive Grant Mayer has said any release request would have to go to the club’s board.

"A request for a release is something that we would have to consider," he said.

"No doubt the board will do this very quickly.

"We are extremely confident, no matter what the outcome, Benji will continue to be first class both on and off the field for Wests Tigers
for the rest of this season."

Marshall has previously said he dreamed of one day playing for the All Blacks.

Image via Getty


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NZ rugby league ace Benji Marshall seeks release from the Tigers, with his likely destination rugby union
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