Marshall rules out opening night

Injured Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall hopes to be back on the playing field ahead of schedule, but has all but ruled out being available for the NRL season opener.

The premier hosts St George Illawarra at Telstra Stadium on March 10 to kick-off the 2006 season in a rematch of last season's epic preliminary final. Marshall underwent surgery on his right shoulder shortly after the Tigers' grand final success last year but is already on the training paddock with contact work set to begin in two weeks.