After weeks of conjecture and speculation, Benji Marshall’s future has finally been confirmed, and his return to Rugby League has been rubber-stamped. The Kiwi international has jumped back to the 13-man code by signing a deal with St George Illawarra Dragons, putting pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal.
Plenty of NRL clubs were queuing up to sign the mercurial half-back, who has endured a torrid time in the 15-man code, having been released from his contract with Auckland Blues last month. That opened the door for a return to Rugby League, and Marshall believes he has a point to prove to himself that he can still compete at the highest level.
“I have a point to prove. Not to everyone else but to myself. I left on a low. My form was terrible. I thought that came down to my attitude. This move to the Dragons gets me out of that comfort zone and is something that I needed. I’m keen to do whatever it takes. Do I think I’m past my best? No.”
“It’s obviously taken a bit of time to get it sorted. I’m happy to be back in the NRL and the history of the Dragons. I’m looking forward to learn about the history and get involved in the culture. Train hard with them and earn a spot in this team. I’ve been thinking about the decision about what was best for me. Their back three is the best in the competition. Their forwards are solid and up and coming. The club is on the way up again and it’s something I want to be part of.
“I have to get a feel for the game again. I feel like I’m ready to go. What I did learn about coming to rugby, I got lazy and complacent. Hopefully I can do the opposite of that here. I feel like a little kid again.”