Benji Marshall has marked his departure from St George Illawarra with a heartfelt apology to Dragons’ fans.
Marshall signed off after two-and-a-half seasons with the NRL joint venture club in an Instagram post in which he accepted responsibility for St George Illawarra’s disappointing season in 2016.
“I am personally sorry for the results on the field this year and the part I played in that,” Marshall wrote.
“But I’m glad I could be a part of last year’s team in making the finals for the first time in four years which was a highlight for me.”
Marshall joined St George Illawarra in 2014 after an ill-fated failed stint with Super Rugby side the Blues.
One of rugby league’s most charismatic players, Marshall left the NRL at the end of 2013 after 10 seasons at the Wests Tigers.
He was released from the remaining two years of his Tigers contract after failing to secure an extended deal from the club after a 201-game career that included premiership success in 2005.
The 31-year-old, who played mostly at halfback at the Dragons, said he was thankful he had been given a second opportunity in the NRL.
“Just want to say thank you to@nrl_dragons club , coaching staff, sponsors and more importantly the fans for giving me the opportunity and lifeline to come back and play this great game ,” Marshall posted.
“I will be forever grateful for that chance.
“Good luck to the club for next season and hope it all goes a lot better than this one .”
Marshall played 54 games for the Dragons and reportedly rejected a $300,000 contract from the club to play on in 2017.
Instead, the veteran of 27 Tests for New Zealand finds himself on the outer with Drew Hutchison expected to be given the first opportunity to play alongside Gareth Widdop in the Dragons’ halves.
Marshall wants to play on in 2017 but is yet to attract serious interest from an NRL club.