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Sport New Zealand captain Benji Marshall and coach Michael Maguire respond to rumours around star player's Kiwis future

23:35  08 november  2019
23:35  08 november  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Benji Marshall admits there was some hesitation to accepting the New Zealand rugby league Test captaincy Marshall was on today named to skipper the Kiwis against the Kangaroos in Wollongong as part of the Oceania Maguire said the decision was made with the support of the senior players .

New Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has opened the door for former captain Benji Marshall to return to the black and white jersey. That selection policy also extends to Jason Taumalolo and the other New Zealand -eligible players who made a last-minute switch to play for Tonga at the World Cup.

Shaun Johnson, Benji Marshall, Ken Maumalo are posing for a picture© Getty Images

It's been one of the great stories in 2019 - but is Wests Tigers legend Benji Marshall's time in the New Zealand Kiwis jumper almost over once again?

Not according to the coach of both his club and country in Michael Maguire.

Ahead of the Kiwis clash with Great Britain on Saturday night, both skipper and coach spoke to the media about the potential of it being Marshall's last in the black jumper.

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New Kiwis coach Michael Maguire has opened the door for former captain Benji Marshall to return to the black and white jersey. That selection policy also extends to Jason Taumalolo and the other New Zealand -eligible players who made a last-minute switch to play for Tonga at the World Cup.

Marshall would make his international debut for New Zealand that year in the ANZAC Test, while He featured for the NRL All Stars as captain of New Zealand , before going on to feature in every game He remains the only Wests Tigers player to have ever won this award. The fleet-footed playmaker

And while Marshall was exceptionally coy about his 2020 plans, Maguire believes this may not be the last we see of him on the international stage.

“If I know Benji the way I do, this might not be his last because he just keeps on going," he said.

"He just plays game-by-game, he is really enjoying being back in this space and he has a big influence on these young guys.

"He has a great story from what he experienced years ago by being away from this space, to coming back into it. The appreciation you get from wearing the Kiwis jersey – Benji epitomises that.

"Having people like him around is very important."

If the 34-year old is still playing good football for the Tigers in the 2020 NRL season, he is one of the first blokes on the team sheet for the Kiwis if he is still keen to play.

New Zealand captain Benji Marshall and coach Michael Maguire respond to rumours around star player's Kiwis future

  New Zealand captain Benji Marshall and coach Michael Maguire respond to rumours around star player's Kiwis future It's been one of the great stories in 2019 - but is Wests Tigers legend Benji Marshall's time in the New Zealand Kiwis jumper almost over once again? Not according to the coach of both his club and country in Michael Maguire.Ahead of the Kiwis clash with Great Britain on Saturday night, both skipper and coach spoke to the media about the potential of it being Marshall's last in the black jumper.And while Marshall was exceptionally coy about his 2020 plans, Maguire believes this may not be the last we see of him on the international stage.

Michael Maguire confirms Benji Marshall will end seven year Kiwis exile against Tonga. Even though he was captain , Marshall was dropped the following year by Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney allowing Johnson and Foran to lock down the playmaking berths for several years.

New Zealand coach Michael Maguire offered Marshall an opportunity to end a six-year Test exile as part of the Kiwis ' Marshall ' s own future was the cause of much speculation throughout the season as the 33-year-old Benji Marshall turned down a chance to play for the Kiwis against England.

But Marshall - humble as always - could only talk about just how important each game for his country is.

“I don’t know, I’m just playing this one like its my last like I always have done," he said.

"This week isn’t about me and whether or not its my last, it’s about what is best for the jumper. We have been focusing on the country and putting this jersey in a better place.

“It’s an honour for me to not only wear the black jumper again, but to be captain as well. It is something special not just for me but for my family as well, as a lot of people are with you through this journey.

"I’m still pinching myself that I am here and am loving it."

The game on Saturday between the Kiwis and Lions will kick off at 6pm from Christchurch Stadium.

Pictures: Kiwi Rugby League heroes of the last 30 years

July 2001: Ivan Cleary #1 of the Warriors leaves Jamie Lyon #3 of the Eels behind as he scores a try during the NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Parramatta Eels at Ericsson Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. The Warriors won the game 29-18. DIGITAL IMAGE Mandatory Credit: Nigel Marple/ALLSPORT

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jess Sergis awarded RLIF's Golden Boot .
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jess Sergis awarded RLIF's Golden BootTuivasa-Sheck claimed the crown for this year's best international player ahead of teammate Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Tongan forward Sio Suia Taukeiaho.

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