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Larkham surprised Benji experiment is over

Wallabies flyhalf great Stephen Larkham admits he's very surprised the Benji Marshall experiment is already over.
Larkham surprised Benji experiment is over
by AAP

By David Barbeler

CANBERRA, April 23 AAP - Wallabies flyhalf great Stephen Larkham admits he's very surprised the Benji Marshall experiment is already over.

Given sufficient time, Marshall would have definitely made it in the 15-man code, according to Australian rugby's greatest modern day playmaker.

"He's a talented player and you don't lose that talent," Larkham said.

"He hasn't had many opportunities to play at Super Rugby level. But I certainly expected him to see it out."

Larkham's comments came as Marshall's release from his Super Rugby contract with the Auckland Blues was confirmed in a joint statement.

Blues coach John Kirwin stated that Marshall: "felt like a league player playing rugby union, and that things weren't happening as fast as he would have liked."

However Larkham, who made the difficult transition from fullback to five-eighth after two years - not two months - believes such high expectations made it an uphill battle for Marshall.

"To chuck him into a playmaker role is very difficult. You need a couple of years to get your head around the game," he said.

"There's a fair bit of difference between a playmaker in rugby league and a playmaker in union. In other positions, not so much."

Larkham pointed out that fellow-code hopper Sonny Bill Williams first played rugby union in France for a couple of seasons, then in New Zealand's ITM Cup for Canterbury, before tackling the challenge of Super Rugby.

"So he pushed through," Larkham said.


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