Tuesday's morning wrap

Rugby league star Benji Marshall says he will contest the assault charge against him.

The Wests Tigers playmaker faces court on April 20 charged with one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm over an alleged incident in Sydney's CBD early on Saturday.

Marshall addressed the media on Tuesday morning and said in a prepared statement he intends to fight the charge but cannot discuss the incident.

Marshall said the last few days had been stressful for himself and his family but he was looking forward to playing in Monday night's NRL round one clash against Canterbury at ANZ Stadium.


Sam Ayoub is free to continue his role as an NRL player agent until a court decision is reached on the charges made against him.

Ayoub was charged by police on Thursday with attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception.

The charges relate to an ongoing investigation over suspicious betting on an NRL clash between the Bulldogs and North Queensland last year.

But the Rugby League Accredited Player Agent Scheme has announced Ayoub's immediate future in rugby league is not in doubt but says it will review his accreditation of the charges are proven.


Tough Brisbane prop Ben Hannant and star centre Justin Hodges will both miss the Broncos' NRL season opener against North Queensland on Friday night.

Hodges remains troubled with a hamstring injury, while new signing Hannant has been ruled out with a calf injury. Rookie coach Anthony Griffin will reveal the makeup of his 17-man squad after training this morning.


Luckily Willie Mason is used to being the centre of attention.

His new side Hull KR are banking on the former NRL big man making a massive impact on and off the field for them this English Super League season.

The jet-lagged star touched down at Manchester Airport and was met on arrival by television cameras ... an unusual scenario for a rugby league player on this side of the world.

There is enormous hype surrounding the 30-year-old's arrival. The ex-Canterbury, Roosters and North Queensland enforcer's face is already welcoming visitors to the club's website despite him never having kitted up for them.

Fans can pay to see Mason's opening press conference, as well as his first training session and a special dinner.