A kiss on the cheek sends NRL star home


Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall has been isolated from the team thanks to a kiss on the cheek.

The veteran playmaker has been sent away from the team after footage showed him approaching Channel 7 reporter Michelle Bishop and planting a kiss on her cheek.

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Under the NRL's strict bio-security rules Marshall will remain at home on Thursday while the reporter undergoes a Covid-19 test and the matter was reported to the NRL.

"The Wests Tigers are aware of a biosecurity matter at training today involving co-captain Benji Marshall," the club said in a statement.

"Marshall was involved in a social distancing incident with an accredited reporter, which was immediately reported to the NRL as per guidelines.

"Under those guidelines, Marshall will remain at home tomorrow - which is a scheduled day off for Wests Tigers NRL squad - while the reporter undergoes a COVID-19 test.

"Assuming a negative result is returned, no further action will be required by Marshall or Wests Tigers."

You can watch the incident in the video player above

The NRL is operating under strict guidelines in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic with players and staff effectively banned from contact with anyone outside of the "bubble".

Bishop addressed the incident on social media shortly afterwards.

"Just goes to show you, we can all get caught up in life and forget what kind of world we are living in at the moment," she wrote.

"Off to be tested #innocent #awkward #apologies."

The incident adds to a rough week for Marshall who was brutally axed from the Wests Tigers' team for their round five match against the Canberra Raiders.

Former State of Origin star Josh Reynolds will replace the 33-year-old at five eighth and will partner Luke Brooks in the halves on Saturday.

Although Marshall is equal second in Dally M voting after round four, it's not enough to earn him a spot in coach Michael Maguire's team this weekend.

Brooks says the entire Wests Tigers squad is on notice after former world player of the year Marshall's surprise demotion from the team following the weekend's loss to Gold Coast.

"Especially with someone of his name to be dropped, that just shows no one's position is safe if we're not playing good enough footy," said Brooks. "There's a whole other reserve grade team who are training really well at the moment and who are ready to come in to the side."

- with AAP

Originally published as Reporter kiss sends NRL star home