NRL: Is this the end for Benji Marshall?

Benji Marshall spent last season with the Dragons but might have played his final game. Photo / Getty
Benji Marshall spent last season with the Dragons but might have played his final game. Photo / Getty

Former Kiwis captain Benji Marshall has posted a heartfelt message to his former club St George Illawarra, NRL fans and players on social media, signalling his departure from the game.

Marshall, a former Wests Tigers premiership winner, spent the last two-and-a-half seasons at the Dragons but is off-contract and retirement now looks increasingly likely.

Marshall's emotional Instagram post includes a shot of him proudly wearing the Dragons jersey, with the lengthy caption: "What an honour it has been to wear the jersey of such a great club #redv. Just want to say thank you to @nrl_dragons club, coaching staff, sponsors and more importantly the fans for giving me the opportunity and lifeline to come back and play this great game.

What an honour it has been to wear the jersey of such a great club #redv.

Just want to say thank you to @nrl_dragons club , coaching staff, sponsors and more importantly the fans for giving me the opportunity and lifeline to come back and play this great game . I will be forever grateful for that chance . I am personally sorry for the results on the field this year and the part I played in that. But Im glad I could be a part of last years team in making the finals for the first time in 4 years which was a highlight for me . A big thank you to all the players that I played with and trained with over the years as you guys have made my time at the club very enjoyable and memorable . I will miss you guys the most but not @jakeymarketo and @_joel.thompson_ shit stories. Will miss the car rides with my crew too @gypsy_no5 @tysonfrizell @duges13 Good luck to the club for next season and hope it all goes alot better than this one . #sorryforthenovel #grateful #thankyouredv #imout #

A photo posted by @benji6marshall on

"I will be forever grateful for that chance. I am personally sorry for the results on the field this year and the part I played in that. But Im glad I could be a part of last years team in making the finals for the first time in 4 years which was a highlight for me.

"A big thank you to all the players that I played with and trained with over the years as you guys have made my time at the club very enjoyable and memorable.

"I will miss you guys the most but not @jakeymarketo and @_joel.thompson_ shit stories. Will miss the car rides with my crew too @gypsy_no5 @tysonfrizell @duges13"

The 31-year-old Whakatane-born playmaker has made no secret of the fact he wishes to continue his career but has no interest in pursuing a playing contract in the UK Super League.

The Melbourne Storm are one club reported to have shown interest in throwing Marshall a career lifeline but that door now appears to be closed after the club recently signed young playmakers Riley Jacks and Jahrome Hughes.

A career in the media surely beckons with Marshall having been a regular panellist on Fox Sports NRL 360 throughout this season.

Marshall debuted for the Tigers in 2003 and played 201 games before exiting the code for a brief and ill-fated Super Rugby stint with the Blues in 2014 which saw him play just six games.

He made a successful return to the NRL to join the Dragons and last year helped them to the playoffs with an eighth-place finish before his form waned this season as the Paul McGregor coached side slumped to an 11th-place finish.

In a stellar international career, Marshall made 27 test appearances for New Zealand, playing a central role in the 2008 World Cup triumph and 2010 Four Nations victory.

He made his last outing in the Kiwis' 18-10 end of year transtasman test defeat in Townsville in 2012.

- NZ Herald

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