Benji Marshall drops surprising retirement hint
According to South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett, Benji Marshall is set to retire at the end of the season.
But when asking Marshall himself about any potential retirement plans, he doesn’t appear ready to hang up the boots just yet.
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The 36-year-old has appeared reborn since moving to the Rabbitohs to play under Bennett this season, rolling back the years with incredible flick passes that hark back to his early days with the Wests Tigers.
In recent times, Marshall has adopted a new mentality when playing and it has held him in good stead as he squeezes every ounce of talent he has before he eventually retires.
However, Marshall maintained that if his body feels right, he has no reason to call it quits just yet.
“I hadn’t even discussed retiring with Wayne at the moment,” Marshall said.
“I think I’ve done a really good job in the last few years of just playing each game as if it’s my last, and then at the end of the season, make a decision about what I want to do.
“It’s not going to be any different this year.
“I feel like the way my body feels right now, I could play next year for sure if I wanted to.
“But I’ll weigh all those things up at the end of the season. Probably give it after this weekend a bit of time to sink in and settle in and make a decision after that.”
The expectation of Marshall retiring is heightened due to his age, as he is the oldest player in the NRL.
But he’s also found new ways of adapting his game to suit his age, as well as the rapidly changing tactics involved in rugby league.
“Because I’ve gotten older, everyone has this stigma around age,” Marshall said.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are, you just have to keep going.
“I feel like I’ve changed heaps and heaps of stuff over the last 12 years of my career and not just the last four or five.
“If you want to keep getting better, you’ve got to keep finding ways to change your name.”
With Marshall off-contract at the conclusion of the season, it means he will have to yet again refine his game under a new coach.
Whether that’s with incoming Rabbitohs mentor Jason Demetriou remains to be seen, as Marshall remained coy on his future plans.
“I just said to my manager, ‘look, you just deal with whatever offers or anything comes your way’, and at the end of the season we’ll sit down and see what’s on the table and make a decision then,” Marshall said.
“We’ll see what happens. No, it doesn’t have to be with South Sydney.
“I don’t know what will happen.”
Marshall will contest the second grand final of his storied career on Sunday when the Bunnies take on the Panthers, 16 years after his first grand final appearance with the Wests Tigers in 2005.
Originally published as Benji Marshall drops surprising retirement hint
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