Rugby League: Benji Marshall open to Kiwis return if given the chance

  • 20/04/2019
Kiwi playmaker Benji Marshall.
Kiwi playmaker Benji Marshall. Photo credit: Image: Getty

Kiwi league star Benji Marshall’s international career may not be over just yet.

Marshall hasn't played for the Kiwis since 2012 but he says he'd still love to add to his 27 tests for New Zealand. 

New Zealand have plenty of tests on the horizon, inlcluding a cruch match against Tonga in the 2019 Oceania Cup at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on June 22 before a clash against Australia at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on October 25.

The Kiwis also have two clashes against the touring Great Britain Lions pencilled in for Eden Park and Christchurch on November 2 and 9.

"The thing I've always said is that I’ll never say no to wearing the black jumper," Marshall told The Daily Telegraph.

Marshall is currently playing his NRL football with the Wests Tigers, who are coached by Kiwis boss Michael Maguire, so the pair have a close relationship. 

But the 34-year-old knows it "wouldn’t be right" to select him over players who would likely be around for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. 

"We probably need to start deciding on combinations for that [the Rugby League World Cup].

"There are a few guys in contention for that. Kieran [Foran] has been back, Shaun [Johnson] Kodi Nikorima, Te Maire Martin and even Dylan Brown.

"There are a lot of Kiwi halves that are going pretty good.

"If I was Madge [Maguire] I would probably be looking to the future but if I got the call up I’d never say no."

Marshall is also open to a coaching role with New Zealand when he officially decides to hang up his boots.

He has spoken to Maguire about the possibility of joining the Kiwi ranks in some capacity.

In the meantime, though, Marshall is fixated on finishing his NRL career with a bang at the Tigers.

"The hard thing for me is I don’t want to put all my eggs into focusing on the future when I’m still playing," he said.

"I just want to enjoy this year playing. I’ve signed with Fox Sports for two years, so at least at the end of my year I’ll have that if I decide to hang up the boots."