Benji Marshall poised for new NRL deal with Brisbane Broncos
Benji Marshall is poised to make a shock switch to the Brisbane Broncos.
Marshall has been in secret negotiations with the NRL club in a move that could extend his glittering rugby league career after he was left struggling for options when his 2016 club, the St George Dragons, did not re-sign him.
The former Kiwi international personally reached out to Broncos coach Wayne Bennett about the prospect of shifting to Red Hill and the seven-time premiership-winning coach was understood to be amenable to the move.
Marshall and Bennett have a strong relationship from their time together with the New Zealand national team and also as part of the NRL All Stars set up. However, the move is a surprise given the Broncos are well served for halves with Anthony Milton and Ben Hunt on their books.
Marshall's agent, Mario Tartak, has confirmed talks were well under way to extend Marshall's stay in the NRL.
"We've been scouring several options for Benji and Brisbane is one of them," Tartak said.
"We believe he has a lot of good football left in him and we believe this could be a wonderful opportunities to continue his career under one of the best coaches in the game.
"We're still in dialogue, but are hopeful of a positive outcome."
The Broncos are discussing the prospect of a one-year deal, although Marshall is hopeful that, if he impresses at Red Hill, that he will be able to continue beyond then.
The addition of Marshall to an already star-studded Brisbane side will provide incredible depth and attacking flair to their squad.
There were fears Marshall may have to prematurely call time on his career after the Dragons opted not to offer him a contract extension.
However, Marshall's decision not to initially accept the Dragon's initial offer may prove a masterstroke, with the Golden Boot winner now a big chance of joining a club that is a genuine premiership threat.
The development gives Marshall hope of potentially breaking the magical 300-game mark if he is able to continue for a further two seasons.
The Dragons remain without an established halfback after letting Marshall go and have missed out on a number of targets including Corey Norman, Lachlan Coote, while their interest in Todd Carney stalled after it became evident the NRL wouldn't register his contract.
- Sydney Morning Herald