The St George Illawarra Dragons have today announced that Benji Marshall has agreed to terms on a two-and-a-half year contract that will see him join the Club immediately until at least the end of the 2016 season.
The four-time NRL All-Star debuted for Wests Tigers during the 2003 campaign and over an 11-season tenure won a Premiership (2005) and became the team’s all-time top try and points scorer.
Marshall, 29, has represented New Zealand on 27 occasions, captaining the side from 2009-12, and was involved in the Kiwis’ respective World Cup (2008) and Four Nations (2010) tournament wins.
The one-time Golden Boot Winner (2010) joined Auckland-based ruby union outfit the Blues ahead of this season’s Super Rugby competition but was granted an early release to return to the NRL.
“I’m very excited to be back in the NRL and grateful to the Dragons for the opportunity to represent this great club,” said Marshall.
“To me, the Dragons are a team on the rise which I am very keen to be a part of. I’m looking forward to meeting all the boys and getting back into training and try to earn a spot in the team.”
Dragons Head Coach Steve Price is delighted by the versatile half’s decision to join the Club and believes he will provide an exciting dimension to the existing playing roster.
“Benji is a quality player who I believe will bring that real “x-factor”, especially in our attack,” said Price.
“I have met with him a couple of times, he is a very proud man who wasn’t happy with how his rugby league career ended and is really determined to make the most of his second chance in rugby league.
“He is fit, he trained at number 15, fullback in rugby union throughout the off-season and it will not take too long for him to get back into the swing of rugby league. He is a winner, a senior player who will be a great fit for our squad.”
Dragons CEO Peter Doust is pleased by Marshall’s decision to agree to terms with the Club and was similar in his assessment of the player.
“Benji is a marquee player but, more importantly, we believe he comes with the right attitude of playing rugby league again and doing so with the Dragons,” said Doust.
“There is no doubt also that he is a very marketable athlete for our Club and I believe the game and I know that the playing squad are pleased to welcome him to our roster.
“We are looking forward to his contributions both on and off the field.”