Benji,s Back

Benji Marshall is back and ready to reclaim his reputation as one of the game's most exciting up and coming talents.

The Wests Tigers maestro was the game's most talked-about player in the early part of last season, with his lightning sidestep dazzling opponents.

Alongside fellow Kiwi youngsters Sonny Bill Williams and Karmichael Hunt, Marshall was penciled in as a possible inclusion in the New Zealand team for the tri nations series against Great Britain and Australia.

Unfortunately he dislocated his shoulder during a match against Melbourne in June and underwent reconstructive surgery, putting him out for the rest of the season.

Marshall said his shoulder is now fully healed, saying everything is going "according to plan" for a return.

"It's pretty good, my rehab went according to plan and I'm confident it's going to be okay," he said.

20 year old Marshall has been in full contact training for about three weeks, and expects to play in the Wests Tigers' opening two trial matches against an Italian national side on Saturday and against Manly on February 19.

"I wanted to start earlier but I had to wait until I was ready," he said.

"I was a bit hesitant earlier, but now I'm fully tackling with my shoulder and it's 100 per cent."

"I play in a position, five-eighth, where you can't be quiet and relaxed," he said.

"You've got to demand things and order people around, it has to be done, you have to tell them what to do.

"(But) I've got a lot of respect for the older players in the team - off the field I would never order them around."

It is those older players, along with Sheens, whom Marshall credits with helping him through the shoulder injury and subsequent operation.

"At first it was pretty hard, but I had all the older boys like Mark O'Neill, Darren Senter and Scott Sattler telling me not to get too down about it," he said.

"I also spent a lot of time sitting in the coaches' box last season too, where I learnt more about the game than I probably ever have.

"You get a bigger perspective in the box, and it's helped me a lot too, where now I can look at things I'm doing differently."

Marshall says there is a lot of hunger within the club to make up for the disappointing finish to last year, when the Wests Tigers lost their last three games to miss the top eight.

"I know most of the boys were shattered at the end of last season," Marshall said.

"There's a whole different hunger around the club than there was in the pre-season last year, we just want to make the top eight for once.

"The new guys have got here ... and I think they see what happened at the club last year and they just want to be a part of it."

Former Penrith and current New Zealand Test centre Paul Whatiura, ex-Cronulla speedster Matthew Rieck and former Warriors prop Matt Jobson are the club's other major signings.

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