Benji Marshall runs with the ball for the Dragons.
Benji Marshall runs with the ball for the Dragons. PAUL MILLER

Benji's playmaking days are over

RUGBY LEAGUE: Benji Marshall won't be playing in the halves for his new club, the Brisbane Broncos, next year.

He expects to play a utility role in Brisbane's backline after making a move to the club for the 2017 NRL season.

On the Broncos website, the former New Zealand playmaker said he would draw on his experience from his time as a fullback and centre in his early days at the Wests Tigers.

"I didn't come here to play in the halves. That's the first thing. I think it's just a great opportunity for me to step away from that role,” he said.

"When you play in the halves you've got to do a lot of organising and sometimes you can forget about what you do yourself.

"Over the years of ball-playing for so long, I forgot about my running game. That's something that I've expressed to (coach) Wayne (Bennett) that I want to find.

"I thought with the best coach in the world, it's a great opportunity for him to help me get the best out of myself.”

The 31-year-old Marshall has signed a one-year, $100,000 deal with Brisbane after playing for NRL clubs the Wests Tigers and St George Illawarra, and a brief stint in Super Rugby with the Auckland Blues.

Marshall will join his new teammates in pre-season training next week and said that for the first time since his formative years in first grade, he would be pressure free.

"Wayne made it clear to me, he said I don't need you to come here and be 'the man',” he said.

"He told me, 'I just want you to be the Benji I met 10 years ago when you were smiling and happy and laughing and throwing flick passes at training.'”

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