12 Sep 2013

Remember Benji well, says Kearney

5:55 am on 12 September 2013

Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney has paid tribute to the former New Zealand playmaker Benji Marshall, who's decided not to take part in the Rugby League World Cup.

Marshall told the Kiwis selectors he wouldn't be available for the tournament, which starts next month, because his focus will be on pre-season training with the Blues Super Rugby franchise where he will play next year.

While Marshall's poor NRL form had made him something less than an automatic selection for the Kiwis, Kearney says it's disappointing not to have the former captain at least in the squad.

Kearney says Marshall, who played 27 tests for the Kiwis - including 19 as captain - deserves to be remembered as the World Cup-winning captain.