Marshall faces first test in No.10
February 1, 2014
Benji Marshall may find himself with a tough task playing in the No. 10 jersey against the Hurricanes © Getty Images
Clutter may be Benji Marshall's worst enemy and kicking perhaps his biggest challenge when he runs out to play his first game for the Blues and his first game of rugby union since he was a teenager. He may have a glittering rugby league career, but Marshall will be faced with a tough task filling in the No. 10 jersey against the Hurricanes.
With 201 NRL matches, 25 tests for the Kiwis and a Rugby League World Cup win under his belt, Marshall is no stranger to attention and will be unaffected by the attention he receives during the Super Rugby trial match, nor should the physical demands of the new code.
However, understanding the information flying around him from the first whistle will be one of his biggest tasks. The microscope will be firmly planted on Marshall's ability to read the play and make the right calls during play and relaying them to his teammates.
The home team haven't focused on the star turn in the build-up to this match, but Hurricanes opposite Marty Banks acknowledged his presence would add to the occasion.
''It's something I never thought I'd do a few years ago to play this level and to come [up] against someone of that class... he's been the best in his code, so it's something I can tell the kids in a few years,'' Banks told Rugby Heaven.
Primarily signed as a fullback, Banks finds himself at No.10 due to James Marshall's recovery from hip surgery and All Black Beauden Barrett's belated return.
With both sides missing their All Blacks, not a lot will be learned about their title aspirations. However, the respective coaching staffs will learn plenty about fringe players they may have to call on at crucial times later in the season.
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