Benji Marshall to announce retirement at South Sydney Rabbitohs press conference: NRL news 2021
After weeks of speculation and intrigue, South Sydney star Benji Marshall is set to confirm rugby league’s worst kept secret later today.
NRL legend Benji Marshall is expected to announce his retirement today.
The 36-year-old was part of the Souths team that lost to Penrith in Sunday’s Grand Final and as speculation continues to mount about his future, it looks like the veteran has made his call.
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The Rabbitohs will hold a press conference featuring Marshall, Bunnies coach Wayne Bennett and CEO Blake Solly at 2pm AEDT where it’s expected the playmaker will confirm he is going to hang up the boots.
Daily Telegraph rugby league writer Dean Ritchie reported earlier this week Marshall would retire and he reaffirmed that stance on radio this morning.
“I wrote a piece yesterday saying that he was expected to retire and I hadn’t got it fully nailed down, albeit the mail was pretty good,” Ritchie told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast. “But I’ve had a few calls since and it looks like it will be a done deal, Benji will retire.
“The suggestion is that he didn’t want to announce it leading up to the Grand Final in terms of that would have taken away from some lead-up publicity for the Bunnies. He didn’t want it to be about him which is typical Benji, he’s a bit selfless in that area.
“So it’s a sad day, he’s been a great player that dates right back to 2003.”
Marshall debuted in first grade for the Wests Tigers in 2003 and led them to the 2005 premiership. He left league to play rugby union then had short stints with St George and Brisbane after returning to the NRL.
He came back to his spiritual home at Concord but Marshall’s hopes of finishing his career at the Tigers were dashed when he was told he was no longer wanted at the end of last season.
Still feeling he had something to offer, Marshall was on the hunt for a new club but it wasn’t until he called Bennett — who had coached him at the Broncos — that he received a lifeline and an opportunity to play on in 2021.
Marshall often came off the bench this season and was used to plug holes in the halves whenever there were injuries or suspension. However, he didn’t get the fairytale send-off he deserved as Penrith beat Souths by two points in a nailbiting season finale.