Sin Bin: Benji’s injury saves Kiwi selectors

Walk of fame: Cronulla captain Paul Gallen comes good on a bet and walks through Cronulla ”nude”. Photo: John Veage Benji Marshall’s toe injury may have saved the New Zealand selectors from another tough decision about the Wests Tigers star. With Manly five-eighth Kieran Foran and Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson in arguably better form in the opening five rounds, Sin Bin believes the Kiwis’ selectors would have discussed the possibility of leaving Marshall out of the team to face Australia in next Friday night’s Test. While it is hard to imagine Marshall would have been dropped, New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney has shown he isn’t afraid to make the hard calls before this year’s World Cup when he axed him as captain. With the injury ruling Marshall out for up to a month, it is a call he doesn’t have to worry about but there will be plenty of interest in how Foran and Johnson perform in the halves. New Zealand are expected to opt for an experienced side at Canberra Stadium, with skipper Simon Mannering or fellow back-rower Alex Glenn tipped to be chosen at left centre ahead of Konrad Hurrell.Chase is on

Ian Millward’s departure from Castleford has coincided with renewed speculation England halfback Rangi Chase may return to St George Illawarra. Negotiations between Chase and the Dragons collapsed during the off-season but Sin Bin understands the 2011 Super League player of the year is again on a list of potential targets. Castleford, who have gone through three chief executives in the past 12 months, play at a dilapidated stadium and have the lowest salary cap spend in Super League. As a result, it is believed the Tigers are willing to release Chase but would want a transfer fee and compensation that may deter St George Illawarra.Blues eye Fifita

Tonga’s loss may be NSW’s gain after Cronulla prop Andrew Fifita officially reaffirmed Australia as the country he wants to represent at Test level. Blues coach Laurie Daley wants to pick a team Queensland will fear, and Fifita is believed to be a strong contender for Origin selection. He will be chosen for City when the year’s first representative teams are named on Sunday. The move is a further blow to Tonga, who will announce their side to play Samoa in the April 20 Test at Penrith, after Warriors back-rower Feleti Mateo opted to try for NSW selection, while Konrad Hurrell wants to represent New Zealand. However, the Mate Ma’a may still boast a strong team for the World Cup – players such as Tony Williams, Michael Jennings, Will Hopoate, Willie Mason, Brent Kite, Richie Fa’aoso, Jorge Taufua, Jacob Loko, Fuifui Moimoi and Israel Folau – if he returns to the NRL – have Tongan heritage.Not Sam Moa’n

Despite his name, Roosters prop Sam Moa is expected to partner Kite in the Tongan front row against Samoa next Saturday night. Samoa, coached by St George Illawarra’s Steve Price, will field a strong line-up expected to include Steve Matai, Roy Asotasi, Jeff Lima, Reni Maitua, Junior Sa’u, David Fa’alogo, Chase Stanley, Daniel Vidot, Ben Roberts, Tim Lafai and Masada Iosefa.Chiefs concern

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie’s plans to meet Sonny Bill Williams about a return to the Super Rugby franchise while he is in Sydney for next week’s match against the Waratahs are set to be foiled by the Roosters superstar’s selection for New Zealand. Rennie has been in contact with Williams to arrange a meeting but the 27-year-old will be in Canberra all week preparing for next Friday’s Test against Australia.Cheeky stunt

There hasn’t been much to laugh about for the Sharks this year, but skipper Paul Gallen’s strip for charity helped lighten the mood. Gallen honoured a bet on Thursday when he strolled down the streets of Cronulla wearing nothing but a pair of skimpy undies, the stunt earning the Men of League charity $10,000 courtesy of SportsBet. What started out as a joke between Gallen and Parramatta coach Ricky Stuart, turned into public embarrassment for a good cause after Cronulla lost 13-6 to the Eels last Saturday. Gallen’s teammates had plenty of fun; Ben Pomeroy ensuring his skipper’s buttocks were exposed while a car-load of Sharks with Chris Heighington at the wheel and Todd Carney in the passenger seat heckled from the road. ”If you didn’t play so shit I wouldn’t have to do this,” Gallen offered in return.Greats help

The money Gallen raised will allow Men of League to continue to help pay for accommodation and airfares for former Cowboys and Titans winger Brenton Bowen and his family for chemotherapy in Melbourne. Men of League also recently bought an electric lift chair for 92-year-old former Group 14 official Louisa Nowra, who has arthritis in her knees and hands, and contributed to the cost of prosthetic legs for former Northern Rivers player and official Jeffrey Jones after a double amputation.

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