New Zealand rugby player Benji Marshall has announced his retirement from the sport.
Marshall, 36, narrowly missed his second NRL big title playing for South Sydney in their loss to Penrith this weekend.
Marshall made his NRL debut with the Wests Tigers in 2003, winning an NRL title with them in 2005.
He has avoided retirement twice, joining coach Wayne Bennett in Brisbane in 2017 after being released by St George Illawarra, and again with Bennett at Souths this year.
In total, Marshall played 346 NRL games – the most by a New Zealander in the competition.
He played 31 tests for the Kiwis, including the 2008 World Cup final victory over Australia and was also the team’s captain.
He played his last test in 2019.
âI feel privileged and grateful to have had the career that I have had,â said Marshall.
“I started as a youngster from Whakatane who was chasing his dreams and who will come away as a better man who achieved those dreams. I cannot thank the Rugby League enough for everything they have given me”, a- he declared.
âBut what I’m most proud of are the countless times I’ve had to stand up and fight the many setbacks that have been dealt to me throughout my career.
âI want to thank the Wests Tigers, St George Illawarra Dragons, Brisbane Broncos and of course the South Sydney Rabbitohs for the opportunity to play for these great clubs. Special mention goes to the Tigers where I am a life member. and it’s a club that has always been a big part of my life, âhe said.
“I have no doubt that I could have played again next year, but now is the right time for me to end my football career and move on to the next adventure.”