Benji Marshall hasn’t given up hope of keeping his career alive, with three Sydney clubs interested in offering the veteran one more shot in the NRL.
Marshall apologised to St George Illawarra fans on Thursday for his role in the club’s dismal showing in 2016 that had many questioning whether his time in the game was done.
The 31-year-old had been linked last month with a move to Melbourne, however he is in discussions to remain in Sydney.
“At the moment, we’re in dialogue with a few NRL clubs – Melbourne’s not one of them. They’re all in Sydney,” Mario Kartak told AAP on Thursday.
Kartak said negotiations were far from being finalised and that retirement for the former New Zealand international wasn’t entirely off the table.
“Obviously, when you’re in dialogue with somebody and you’re working out if we can and if we can’t, at the moment there could be a possibility (of retirement),” he said.
“But in Benji’s mind, he’s playing rugby league no matter what.”
Kartak’s comments came on the same day Marshall took to social media to issue a heartfelt apology to Dragons supporters for their disappointing campaign this year.
Marshall, who battled hamstring injuries for the first half of the season, was often front and centre of criticism of the team’s toothless attack.
The 341 points they scored was only higher than Parramatta and wooden spooners Newcastle.
“I am personally sorry for the results on the field this year and the part I played in that,” Marshall wrote on Instagram.
“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.”
After a failed stint in rugby union early in 2014, Marshall returned to the NRL with the Dragons where he played mostly halfback and helped break a four-year finals drought in 2015.
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 .”