In the final part of our interview with new recruit Benji Marshall, we look back at his rugby league career and how his switch to rugby union will reinvigorate his passion to play.
Talking a bit about rugby league, what have been some of your most memorable moments in the code?
There’s been a few. Definitely 2005 when I made my debut for the Kiwis, that was a pretty memorable time for me, I was only 19-years-old and to get that call up to play with guys that I looked up to was unbelievable. Also in 2005 when we won the Premiership with the Tigers which was one of the best days of my life. 2008 winning the World Cup with the Kiwis, 2010 winning the Four Nations, winning the Golden Boot in 2010 and probably captaining the Kiwis for a record number of games was one of my highlights as well.
With a decade in the code, looking back do you think you’ve achieved everything you wanted to achieve?
Oh, and more. I didn’t think I’d have this opportunity to play on the highest stage of rugby league and as a kid growing up in Whatakane I never thought that would ever happen so for all the things that I’ve been through and everything that I’ve achieved it’s been beyond my wildest expectations and dreams.
The Wests Tigers have been a massive part of your life since you started playing for them more than a decade ago, what would you like to say to your fans as you leave in your final few games of the season?
It’s been my life pretty much, the last 11 years I’ve spent at the Tigers so it’s been everything. It’s always going to be a part of my life, I’m still going to support the Tigers and I’ve put that out to everyone that I’ll still be supporting the Tigers. It’ll always be my home in rugby league no doubt but sometimes you have to make a change and this is a time for that change and I’m excited for it. I’ve had such great support throughout my time at the Tigers and hopefully I can have that support carry through to my change to Union and hopefully still see everyone now and again.
Making the switch from rugby league to union, it seems as though this is really going to reinvigorate your career and reignite your passion to play the game.
Absolutely, and that’s half the challenge I think when you’ve been playing for so long is to get that excitement to go to work everyday and be pumped up and motivated every morning to do your best and I think with this change and learning a new game, it gives me the opportunity to learn something new everyday. It’ll be like being back at school, you just get excited to see the boys and try and learn a new trade and that’s what I’m going to do.