He’s picked Benji Marshall’s brain on both sides of the New South Wales border – and now Western Suburbs Magpies five-eighth Tyson Gamble wants to fill his jersey.
Learning Marshall’s craft in their time shared at the Redcliffe Dolphins last season, Gamble looks a chance to figure in the Wests Tigers No.6 in Round 4 of the NRL – a jersey made famous by the now-injured veteran.
Marshall himself urging the Wests Tigers to take a punt on the rising star.
“I played with him at Redcliffe in 2017, he’s a quality runner of the ball,” Marshall says of Gamble.
“He definitely is [in line for an NRL debut], he’s done everything right throughout the opening rounds of the competition.
“There’s not much more he could have done.”
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Like Marshall in his youth, there’s an air of confidence that surrounds the 21-year-old five-eighth.
Instrumental in the Magpies’ early successes in 2018 – scoring a try in Round 1, and playing a leading role in the side’s back-to-back wins to start the year – Gamble is ready to make the rise in grade.
“I don’t think I could have asked for a better start to the year, personally… Maybe a few more tries,” Gamble tells NSWRL.com.au, with a grin on his face.
“I’ll do my best, if Ivan [Cleary] goes down that path and ends up picking me, I’ll definitely be giving it my all, putting my best foot forward.
“I'll be looking forward to it, if it happens.”
Marshall's injury leaves the door ajar for Gamble to earn an NRL debut in the Tigers’ Easter Monday clash with the Parramatta Eels at ANZ Stadium – pending the fitness of fellow 2018 recruit, Josh Reynolds.
"He’s done everything right throughout the opening rounds of the competition."Benji Marshall on Tyson Gamble
Marshall and Reynolds had spent the months leading into the 2018 season grooming and guiding the young half, fine-tuning Gamble’s game in readiness for a first grade call up.
There’s a wealth of knowledge in the Tigers’ halves stocks.
“Benji [Marshall], Brooksy (Luke Brooks) and Grubby (Josh Reynolds) in the first-grade squad, they’re always helping me out, I’m always picking their brains. To have those blokes around, it helps my game out,” Gamble says.
“That’s big for me, I need to learn that better still – how to control the game, how to manage tight situations and get the team home to a win.”
Just as they have since his arrival from Redcliffe, Marshall and Reynolds again kept a keen eye on Gamble and his efforts at the weekend, in the Magpies’ Round 3 clash with Wyong.
Perched in the grandstands at Campbelltown Stadium, the representative duo – alongside the entire Wests Tigers NRL squad – offered their support to the Intrust Super Premiership side.
It’s a sign of just how far the Wests Tigers have come under coach Ivan Cleary, throughout his short tenure at the club.
“It’s awesome, it brings us together as a club. Seeing the NRL team down here to watch the [Intrust Super Premiership NSW] boys, it makes us tighter as a group,” Gamble says.
“We’re all here in this together.”