Sport Rugby League We’d love Benji at Dragons, says Widdop

We’d love Benji at Dragons, says Widdop

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St George Illawarra five-eighth Gareth Widdop has welcomed the idea of Benji Marshall joining him in the Dragons’ halves.

The Dragons are favourites to snare the signature of the former Wests Tigers’ superstar, but the NRL club wasn’t commenting publicly on Tuesday amid media reports chief executive Peter Doust was meeting the Dragons’ board to discuss Marshall’s acquisition.

Marshall is expected to make a decision on his new home this week with Cronulla the only other club left in the running for his services.

Widdop played alongside Australian No.7 Cooper Cronk at Melbourne and said he would relish the opportunity to have another superstar partner in the halves.

“As a young fellow, I played with some great players down at Melbourne so, to play with Benji – another great player – would be great too,” Widdop said.

“But at the moment, we have Sammy Williams, Adam Quinlan, Michael Witt, who are are all good players themselves.

“It is all up in the air. We just have to move on and worry about playing football.

“It’s all speculation.

“But everyone knows what he has done for rugby league. He was a great player before he left for rugby union.

“Everyone watches footy to watch people like Benji and, to have him back, I’m sure it is going to attract a lot more attention which is great for rugby league.”

Widdop has been a revelation for the Dragons since his off-season move from the Storm, but he has struggled to form a halves combination, with Witt, Williams and Quinlan all unable to cement their spot at halfback.

“It has been a bit like that, I suppose,” Widdop said.

“Michael started the year then got injured, then Sammy came in, and then Quinny.

“So it has been quite hard in that respect. I’m sure the coach has got his reasons and he will pick whoever is he believe is best for that weekend.

“If someone like Benji was to come into the team … I think it can click if you are willing to stick to a game plan,” Widdop said.

“Obviously the more you play together, a lot strong the combination.

“If there is a game plan there and you stick to it, it is quite easy to click.”

After starting the NRL season in impressive fashion, winning their first three games, the Dragons have won just one of their next five.

Ahead of Sunday’s round-nine clash with Canterbury at ANZ Stadium, they sit ninth on the ladder, outside the eight on percentages.

After the representative weekend off, Widdop said the club was confident of kickstarting the Dragons’ season.

“I just want to be consistent, week in week out, and I have done that so far,” he said.

“The last few weeks have been a bit tough with things going against us and, personally, I am happy with how I am going but I still want to keep improving.”