Benji Marshall: 'It didn't work out'

Benji Marshall has been officially released from his Super Rugby contract, the Blues confirmed today.

In a statement released today, the Blues said head coach Sir John Kirwan and Marshall had "some frank and honest discussions and mutually agreed the best path forward was for Marshall to return to rugby league".

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Marshall has put a positive spin on the experience, saying that while his on-field performance had not lived up to his expectations, he had "become a better player and person for the experience".

"My wife and I have really enjoyed our time in New Zealand and I'd like to thank not only the people of Auckland but also New Zealand for the way in which we were embraced coming back here," Marshall said.

"I gave rugby a go and it didn't work out. However I feel like through being at the Blues I was able to find myself again, find some hunger, get fit and on top of that and more importantly I feel like I've become a better person," he said.

"On the field I certainly wanted to achieve more than how it panned out. It didn't go that way but in terms of life it did 100 per cent.

The Blues gave me the opportunity to be myself and express myself and I feel like I'm leaving as a better player and a better person for it."

Kirwan said he had told Marshall he needed to take "a step backwards to come forwards", playing some club rugby and for the Blues development team to work on his game.

"I asked him honestly if he felt rugby was the game for him and his response was that he felt like a league player playing rugby union and that things weren't happening as fast as he would have liked so we both decided it was probably best for him to return to playing league.

"The courage it took for Benji to take on this challenge is a testament to his character and I believe it took even more courage for him to say it's not working out so that shows the measure of the man."

The Blues will not be seeking a replacement player for Marshall.

- nzherald.co.nz

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