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Storm say Benji is Sydney-bound

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy would love to have Benji Marshall but believes he's intent on playing with a Sydney NRL side.
Storm say Benji is Sydney-bound
by AAP

By Melissa Woods

MELBOURNE, April 24 AAP - Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy would love to have Benji Marshall but believes he's intent on playing with a Sydney NRL side.

Aiming to returning to the NRL after a failed stint in rugby union, Marshall has been linked with both Cronulla and Melbourne after securing a release from his Auckland Blues contract.

The former Wests Tigers ace would be a valuable acquisition for Melbourne, especially after losing five eighth Gareth Widdop in the off-season and with the State of Origin period looming when the club is always hard hit with star trio Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater away on representative duty.

However Bellamy didn't feel his team were any chance of signing the New Zealand international.

"As far as I know the club hasn't spoken to Benji," Bellamy said on Thursday.

"Any team would love him as a player in their club but I don't think there's any use in us going any further because the word that keeps coming up when he gets asked is Sydney.

"That's where his roots lie and that's probably where he'll end up."

Bellamy believed the 29-year-old would have no trouble transitioning straight back into league and felt the short stint away from the game could be the best thing for him.

"The last couple of years in the NRL Benji might have been getting a little bit stale; that happens to players because he's been playing first grade a long time.

"What's happened is probably a good thing for him.

"He's probably got his hunger back now and whatever club gets him he'll be very, very handy."




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