Benji Marshall has been released from his contract with Rugby Union side Auckland Blues, paving the way for a seemingly imminent return to Rugby League.
Marshall had asked for a release from his contract in the 15-man code, which was granted yesterday by the club. Marshall expressed his gratitude for the decision in a statement made by the club, and he admitted his time at Auckland had made him “a better person”.
He said: “I gave rugby (union) 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.
“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.”
There are expected to be a whole host of NRL clubs queuing up to acquire the services of Marshall – but former club Wests Tigers will not be one of them. They said earlier in the week that they would not seek talks with the New Zealand star, after Marshall’s agent confirmed they were backtracking on a promise made before he left Rugby League last year. The club did say, however, that they were supportive of his decision to switch codes.
Salford Red Devils owner Marwan Koukash had publicly expressed an interest, but Marshall’s agent also knocked back those claims, insisting he is only looking to return to the NRL, and not interested in heading to England.