AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 05: Benji Marshall of the Tigers leads the team out during the round nine NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium on May 5, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

Wests Tigers veteran Benji Marhsall is open to a return to the New Zealand national team before retiring.

The 34-year old missed last year’s tour of England due to a knee injury, however, has not ruled out the prospect of a Kiwis swan song.

New Zealand have several upcoming clashes, hosting Tonga in the 2019 Oceania Cup in Auckland on June 22 before a meeting with Australia in Wollongong on October 25.

The Kiwis also play England twice later in the year, in Eden Park on November 2 and Christchurch on November 9.

“The thing I’ve always said is that I’ll never say no to wearing the black jumper,” Marshall told The Australian.

“But there is a World Cup year coming up in 2021 and we probably need to start deciding on combinations for that.

“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 I would probably be looking to the future but if I got the call-up I’d never say no.”

Marshall could move into a coaching role at New Zealand once he hangs up the boots, but is currently focused on returning from a hamstring injury to help the Tigers.

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“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.”

He added that Josh Reynolds deserves the start at five-eighth.

“I think Josh has earned his position and is doing really good things for the team,” he said.

“It’s about doing what is best for the team and at the moment I think that is selecting him.

“Of course we both want to be playing but if we don’t play we are not the types to go and sook or kick stones.

“If I have to spend a bit of time in reserve grade or on the bench then that is just what it is.

“Josh is one of those players who gives so much energy and he makes players around him lift to his level.

“I’m really happy for him. We are pretty close. Given our situation it could be awkward and tense but we’ve got each other’s back.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Think in a football sense it would help if Nikorima leaves the broncoes. He could play 14 at so many other clubs and look a lot better than constantly getting blamed at the broncoes. Also once Maloney leaves the Panthers and Luai starts he will be looking better.
    Kiwis do have a lot more options now in the halves than ever before so I think Marshall is right in saying we should look to the future

    1. Johnson. 8. Marshall-King
    2. Foran. 9. CHT
    3. Marshall 10. Lino
    4. Nikorima. 11. Hingaro
    5. TMM. 12. Lolohea
    6. Brown. 13. Docker-Clay
    7. Luai

    Not to mention imagine if Corey Norman decided to rep NZ cause he actually could. Having him and Johnson in the halves could be interesting and would be good for the kiwis for the next 4 years ish and would allow CHT/Brown/Luai/Marshall-King and others to develop more.

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