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Benji calls for advice, receives NRL deal

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/11/2016 Laine Clark

Benji Marshall of the Dragons runs the ball during the round one NRL match between the Dragons and the Storm. © Mark Kolbe/Getty Images Benji Marshall of the Dragons runs the ball during the round one NRL match between the Dragons and the Storm. All Benji Marshall wanted was some advice.

Instead, the veteran playmaker received an NRL lifeline.

Marshall has revealed he agreed to a one-year Brisbane deal within an hour of phoning coach Wayne Bennett after other 2017 NRL offers had all but dried up.

However, the last thing on the 31-year-old's mind was a Broncos contract when he called the master coach.

"To be honest options were looking very thin to go somewhere else," said Marshall, who has known Bennett since New Zealand's 2008 World Cup win.

"I just wanted some advice. I know Wayne is always there - I can call him no matter what it is."

However, ex-Dragons half Marshall quickly found himself negotiating a deal that would extend his career to a 15th NRL season.

"He (Bennett) said 'what do you want to do?'" Marshall said.

"I said I wanted my running game back.

"An hour later he called me and said 'this is what I want you do, if you agree, done deal'.

"We didn't talk about money. I just said OK - we did the deal pretty much on the phone."

After a run with hamstring injuries in 2016, Marshall is determined to show he still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

He made an impressive start, winning the 1.5km time trial at his first Brisbane pre-season session on Monday.

"He (Bennett) said I still had life left in my legs and that he could help me with it - I am very excited," the ex-Wests Tigers premiership halfback said.

"To be honest last year (2016 season) looked like being my farewell.

"This is my chance to enjoy the footy.

"This decision is pretty much about me."

But at what cost?

Marshall is believed to have signed a $A100,000 ($NZ106,370) Broncos deal - a fraction of a reported $300,000 12-month Dragons offer the veteran knocked back earlier this year.

"It's not so much humbling, it is something I wanted to do," Marshall said of his pay cut.

"I think that is one of the key things with Wayne - it wasn't about the money for me.

"For me it is about finishing the way I want to finish and enjoying footy the way I want to play."

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