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Marshall ruled out, milestone game on hold

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/07/2016 Steve Zemek
Benji Marshall of the Dragons © Getty Images Benji Marshall of the Dragons

St George Illawarra's Benji Marshall has been forced to put milestone celebrations on ice after succumbing to a recurring hamstring injury.

The former Kiwi was set to celebrate 250 NRL games against Gold Coast at Jubilee Oval on Friday night, but he's now been rested after pulling up sore following Thursday's captain's run.

Josh McCrone is likely to come into the halves to partner Gareth Widdop for the Dragons, who have been hit hard with injury as they cling to eighth spot.

"Unfortunately Benji has pulled up with some hamstring tightness and given his history we think it best he be rested," said Dragons physio Tony Ayoub.

"Benji had trained earlier on in the week but club medical staff thought it best he not play so that he can focus on continuing his rehabilitation.

"It is no secret that this would have been his 250th first grade game but the important thing now is that when he does return and reach this milestone he is playing at a hundred per cent."

Marshall, 31, has been restricted to just 10 appearances this year as he battles his on-going hamstring problem.

He will now look to celebrate his 250th match against his former club Wests Tigers next Sunday.

The Dragons have a raft of injury concerns with fullback Josh Dugan facing surgery for a broken jaw.

Tyson Frizell is hopeful of backing up after Wednesday's State of Origin III and prop Mike Cooper will be given until Friday as he battles a bulging disc in his back.

The loss to Dugan is likely to see Jason Nightingale shift from the wing to fullback and Tim Lafai earn a reprieve after being dropped to NSW Cup.

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