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Bennett reveals why ‘champions’ never play on as Smith, Marshall ponder futures

“We had a lot of young players at the Broncos there and I can’t give him enough accolades for the contribution he made.

“He respected being part of the team up there and he got a great deal of respect from the players because of his attitude and his professionalism and the way he helped a lot of them.”

Marshall has not received any interest from rival clubs in the days since his departure from the Tigers was confirmed by the club.

That came as a surprise to Bennett, who would have the 35-year-old at Redfern in a heartbeat if the club wasn’t already flush with playmakers.

But the seven-time premiership-winning coach wouldn’t be drawn on whether he should try to play on at a rival club.

“It’s not about what I think. It’s about what he thinks,” Bennett said.

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“It’s his body, he knows what he’s done in the game and he knows where he’s at in life. It’s really his decision to make. It’s not mine.”

The other player making daily headlines as he weighs up his future is Cameron Smith.

Souths will face Melbourne tomorrow night and while Bennett would not pass judgment on whether he thinks the future Immortal should play on in 2021, he did make some astute comments regarding champion players and retirement.

“You can speculate as much as you like and talk about it as much as you like but Cameron’s the only guy who knows that,” Bennett said.

“One thing I know about champions – they won’t embarrass themselves. They never stay too long.

“That’s the one denominator with the real champions of the game, if you follow it closely enough.

“They know their time is up and they take that opportunity because they’re not used to not playing well, not doing well and they can’t handle it, personally, when that happens.”

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On the field, Bennett indicated Corey Allan and Alex Johnston would swap positions throughout the match but the former would likely play the majority of the match at fullback in place of Latrell Mitchell.

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