Benji Marshall returns to league

By Steve Deane

Benji Marshall. Photo / Getty Images
Benji Marshall. Photo / Getty Images

Benji Marshall is set to return to the NRL after he and Blues coach John Kirwan agreed his switch to rugby union was not working out, the Blues have confirmed.

Marshall made the decision to seek an immediate return to the NRL following a meeting with Blues coach Sir John Kirwan this weekend.

In a statement made this evening, the Blues and New Zealand Rugby confirmed they have received a request from Marshall to be released early from his contract.

"All parties are currently in discussions regarding this request and need to work through a formal process before making any further comment."

Marshall's manager, Martin Tauber, has been instructed to open talks with NRL clubs.

Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah did immediately return the Herald's call, however the New Zealand club has not so far been linked to the former Kiwis star.

Marshall has been given just 212 minutes of game time in eight Super Rugby matches this season.

An Australian newspaper reported the 29 year-old decided to seek a release after a meeting with Kirwan in which it was suggested he either play the rest of the season in the lower tiers to help prepare him for the 2015 Super Rugby competition or return to rugby league.

Cronulla, St George Illawarra, Parramatta, Melbourne and Brisbane have already been touted as possible destinations.

In the 11 seasons after joining the Tigers as a schoolboy in 2003, Marshall played 201 NRL matches and was considered the face of the joint venture after leading the club to the 2005 premiership.

He also played 25 tests for New Zealand and spearheaded the Kiwis to victory in the 2008 World Cup before taking over the captaincy the following season.

- NZ Herald

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