Retiring Dragons player Benji Marshall takes a lap of honour after the Dragons' round 26 NRL match.
Retiring Dragons player Benji Marshall takes a lap of honour after the Dragons' round 26 NRL match. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Marshall farewells Dragons with emotional post

RUGBY LEAGUE: 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.

"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.”

The 31-year-old New Zealand-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, in which he played 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 trans-Tasman test defeat in Townsville in 2012.

NZ HERALD



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