NRL: Wayne Bennett wants the old Benji Marshall, filled with razzle-dazzle

Broncos coach Wayne Bennett says he wants the old Benji Marshall - the one who throws flick passes and runs with flair. Photo / Photosport
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett says he wants the old Benji Marshall - the one who throws flick passes and runs with flair. Photo / Photosport

Wayne Bennett has urged Benji Marshall to return to the running and flick- passing NRL excitement machine of old at Brisbane next season.

The Broncos confirmed his arrival for the first time on Friday via an interview on their club website, and the former New Zealand playmaker said he had spoken with Bennett about turning back the clock next season.

"That's one thing Wayne made clear to me," said Marshall. "'I don't need you to come here and be the man.

"I just need you to be the Benji you were 10 years ago when you were smiling and laughing throwing flick passes at training'."

Marshall was once of the most dynamic running halves in the competition, his premiership-winning form at the back-end of 2005 culminating in the famous flick pass to Pat Richards in the grand final.

However that has wavered in recent times, to the point where he was unwanted at St George Illawarra and facing retirement until the Broncos offered him a lifeline.

But with Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford ensconced in the Brisbane halves, the 31 -year-old said he was likely to be used in the centres in 2017.

And while he's played just one match there since 2004 for the Wests Tigers, he believes it could help revitalise game.

"I didn't come here to play in the halves," Marshall said.

"When you play in the halves you've got to do a lot of organising and sometimes you can forget about what you do yourself," Marshall said.

"I think over the years I've done a lot of ball-playing for so long I've forgotten about my running game and that's something that I stressed to Wayne that I wanted to find."

Marshall is under no illusions about the certainty of his starting spot at the club, having already been warned by Bennett there's a chance he could play in reserve grade.

It's why he's now bracing for one of the most important pre-seasons of his life.

"I've got a lot to prove," he said.

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