The Blues and Benji Marshall to part ways

23 Apr 2014

New Zealand Rugby and the Blues have today agreed and confirmed the terms of Benji Marshall's release from his Investec Super Rugby contract.

Following Friday night’s match against the Hurricanes, Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan and Benji Marshall had some frank and honest discussions and mutually agreed the best path forward was for Marshall to return to rugby league.
 
29-year-old Marshall said while his on-field performance had not lived up to his expectations, he felt he had become a better player and person for the experience.
 
“My wife and I have really enjoyed our time in New Zealand and I’d like to thank not only the people of Auckland but also New Zealand for the way in which we were embraced coming back here,” Marshall said.
 
“I gave rugby a go and it didn’t work out. However I feel like through being at the Blues I was able to find myself again, find some hunger, get fit and on top of that and more importantly I feel like I’ve become a better person,” he said.
 
“On the field I certainly wanted to achieve more than how it panned out. It didn’t go that way but in terms of life it did 100 per cent. The Blues gave me the opportunity to be myself and express myself and I feel like I’m leaving as a better player and a better person for it.”
 
Blues head coach Sir John Kirwan said:
 
“I sat down with Benji and said I wouldn’t be able to pick him in the 23 this week and felt that he needed to take a step backwards to come forwards, playing some club rugby and for the Blues development team to work on his game,” Kirwan said.
 
“I asked him honestly if he felt rugby was the game for him and his response was that he felt like a league player playing rugby union and that things weren’t happening as fast as he would have liked so we both decided it was probably best for him to return to playing league.
 
“The courage it took for Benji to take on this challenge is a testament to his character and I believe it took even more courage for him to say it’s not working out so that shows the measure of the man.”

Blues chief executive Michael Redman thanked New Zealand Rugby for their help in reaching this agreement.

"I'd like to acknowledge the significant contribution and work put in by the NZRU to facilitate this outcome. It was certainly a complex issue and the support they have shown in assisting with this process is much appreciated."

The Blues will not be seeking a replacement player for Marshall.
ROUND 1

18

Blues v
Chiefs

Sat 14 Feb 2015
7:35pm

23

27

Stormers v
Blues

Sun 22 Feb 2015
4:05am

16

25

Cheetahs v
Blues

Sat 28 Feb 2015
6:10am

24

10

Blues v
Lions

Sat 7 Mar 2015
7:35pm

13

30

Hurricanes v
Blues

Fri 13 Mar 2015
7:35pm

23

23

Waratahs v
Blues

Sat 28 Mar 2015
9:40pm

11

23

Chiefs v
Blues

Sat 4 Apr 2015
7:35pm

16

16

Blues v
Brumbies

Fri 10 Apr 2015
7:35pm

14

30

Highlanders v
Blues

Sat 18 Apr 2015
7:35pm

24

29

Crusaders v
Blues

Sat 25 Apr 2015
7:35pm

15

41

Blues v
Force

Sat 2 May 2015
5:30pm

24

42

Rebels v
Blues

Fri 8 May 2015
9:40pm

22

23

Blues v
Bulls

Fri 15 May 2015
7:35pm

18

5

Blues v
Hurricanes

Sat 23 May 2015
7:35pm

29

11

Blues v
Crusaders

Sat 6 Jun 2015
7:35pm

34

7

Blues v
Highlanders

Fri 12 Jun 2015
7:35pm

44

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