THE AUCKLAND BLUES have confirmed that Benji Marshall has requested to end his spell with the Super Rugby club and return to the NRL.
Marshall parted company with NRL outfit Wests Tigers in July 2013 to pursue a career in rugby union and play for the New Zealand national side, signing a two-year deal with Blues a month later.
However, the former New Zealand rugby league captain has struggled to cement a place in the Blues’ first-team under head coach John Kirwan, scoring one try in just five appearances for the Auckland club.
And the 29-year-old’s brief spell in union is now set to come to an end after his desire to switch back to the league code was revealed.
“The Blues and New Zealand Rugby can confirm they have received a request from Benji Marshall to be released early from his contract,” the Blues said in a statement released on Monday.
“All parties are currently in discussions regarding this request and need to work through a formal process before making any further comment.”
Kirwan, meanwhile, said that he has held discussions with Marshall, and was quick to praise the fly-half, despite his decision.
“Yeah, look we’ve had a conversation and we’ve spoken about where we’re at, we’ve had an honest conversation,” Kirwan was quoted as telling New Zealand’s ONE News.
“He’s an incredibly good team man, a very honest man, we’ve having honest discussions and moving forward.”