Benji Marshall has announced his retirement from the NRL.
Most important points:
- Marshall played 346 NRL games after his 2003 debut
- He played for the Wests Tigers, St George Illawarra, Brisbane and South Sydney in the NRL
- Marshall helped the Wests Tigers to the 2005 premiership
A tearful Marshall made the announcement along with Wayne Bennett at a media conference in front of his South Sydney Rabbitohs teammates and family.
“I started my journey as a little boy from Whakatane chasing a dream,” Marshall said.
“I will leave this game as a grown man who has learned a lot of life lessons and I think he turned out to be a pretty good person.
“I feel privileged and honoured [with] what the game has given me, the life I’ve been able to live.
The 36-year-old made 346 NRL appearances after making his league debut for Wests Tigers in 2003.
He made 257 appearances for the Tigers in two spells and helped the club win the 2005 Grand Final, setting the game on fire with his role in one of the greatest attempts of all time.
Marshall’s extraordinary shot from deep in his own half – and magical tap pass to the halfway line – put Pat Richards on a 90-meter run, which ended in a spectacular attempt and helped the Tigers defeat the Cowboys 30-16.
Earlier that season, he made the first of 31 Test appearances for New Zealand. He captained the Kiwis between 2008 and 2012 and was part of the 2008 World Cup winning team.
After a brief six-game stint in rugby union with the Auckland-based Blues, Marshall returned to the NRL to play with the Dragons and then the Broncos, before returning to Leichhardt for a further three years with the Tigers.
He played 22 games with the Rabbitohs this season, mainly as the utility’s number 14, backing Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds off the bench as the club reached the grand final, losing 14-12 to Penrith Panthers in a thriller.
“[I] I’ve mastered my number 14 position this year,” Marshall told Channel Nine after the grand finale.
“[I] was just enjoying it. I got to play with guys like Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker.
“Those guys really made it exciting.”
His 22 appearances, albeit off the bench, were the most he made in a single season since 2015.