Marshall-King set to take on brother Benji

Canterbury's Jeremy Marshall-King will play against brother Benji in Sunday's NRL clash with Wests.
Canterbury's Jeremy Marshall-King will play against brother Benji in Sunday's NRL clash with Wests.

When Jeremy Marshall-King last year turned his back on the chance to play alongside big brother Benji Marshall at the Wests Tigers, he did it so he could write his own legacy.

Canterbury hooker Marshall-King will for the first time face off against the man he looked up to most of his life when he lines up opposite Benji and his Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

Born 10 years apart, the brothers are at opposite stages of their NRL careers.

Benji is in his 16th and possibly final season after a career that has spanned a premiership, a World Cup win, a stint in rugby union and countless ups and downs.

Marshall-King is 22, in his second year of first grade and has this year nailed down a starting spot after his off-season move to the Bulldogs in search of an opportunity.

He debuted for the Tigers in round 26 last year and following his first game Benji led an emotional haka in the Leichhardt Oval stands.

After Benji signed to return to the Tigers, it looked like the pair would realise a dream of playing alongside each other this year.

However Marshall-King turned it down after being offered an opportunity under Dean Pay at Belmore.

"That was the plan, to stay at the Tigers and play with my brother," Marshall-King told AAP.

"The opportunity came up here at the Dogs and I took it and I'm glad I made that decision.

"I just wanted to do what's best for me in the future."

Even since Marshall-King pulled on a pair of boots, he has been compared to his older and more famous brother and he displays a real drive to step out of Benji's long shadow.

"I'm trying to make a name for myself, I'm trying to play some good footy here at the Bulldogs," Marshall-King said.

"I'm trying to show the people and the fans out there what I've got.

Marshall-King and his mother Lydia moved to Sydney from New Zealand when he was 10 to be closer to Benji after he first signed with the Tigers.

To this day, they still text about football regularly, Marshall-King trying to soak up as much as he can from someone who has achieved just about everything in the game.

"It was really good to see him doing really well at his job that he loved doing. Seeing that was cool and inspiring for me," Marshall-King said.

"Now I'm here and doing that job that he started 10 years ago."

Australian Associated Press