Future of NRL decided as he jumps codes and the Tasman Sea to join Super 15 side.
Benji Marshall has confirmed one of the worst kept secrets with news he has officially signed with the Auckland Blues for the 2014 Super 15 season.
The Blues were seen as the front-runner for the NRL star’s signature after he told his current club the Wests Tigers he wished to opt out of his deal early.
New South Wales in the Super 15 were also a contender, but in the end, a spot in the Blues side and a possible call-up to the All Blacks proved too much for the playmaker.
“It’s looking promising, if it all works out according to plan then hopefully I do end up playing here,” Marshall said after meeting with Auckland coach John Kirwan.
“I’ve got to take into account all my options but the opportunity to maybe one day play for the All Blacks is a pretty big motivator for me.
“Obviously I’m pretty nervous about that, but at the same time excited at the prospect of having the opportunity.”
Marshall has suffered mixed form this season in the NRL as the Tigers lurched from one week to the next, often burdened by a heavy injury toll.
But talks of staying with rugby league and the NRL broke down when the size of the deal Marshall requested was seen as too large, given what the club thought he had to offer in the long term.