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Bennett lures Benji to the Broncos

NZN 21/10/2016 Steve Zemek

A heart-to-heart with master coach Wayne Bennett has delivered Benji Marshall his wish of an NRL lifeline, with the veteran playmaker signing a one-year NRL deal with Brisbane.

Marshall's manager Mario Tartak confirmed to AAP on Friday that he had inked the deal which will reunite him with Bennett.

Bennett's relationship with Marshall - from coaching him in New Zealand's 2008 World Cup win and the NRL All Stars - played a big part in getting the deal over the line.

"(Bennett) is someone that Benji looks up to," Tartak said.

"He placed a lot of calls to him during the year. They had a heart-to-heart. They talk a lot, just for advice. And he just said he wasn't ready to retire."

Brisbane are well stocked for halves with Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford at Red Hill, leading some to question why they would sign Marshall.

Hunt has been linked to Parramatta however Bennett this week guaranteed the future of both of his star halves.

Marshall could be used in the bench utility role, which has been occupied by Kodi Nikorima in recent times, while Bennett said he planned to use the 255-game, 27-Test veteran as a centre or back up to fullback Darius Boyd.

Marshall is considered one of the all-time greats, having changed the way the game was played in the mid '00s and encouraging innumerable imitators with his trademark footwork.

However it's been questioned whether the 2005 Wests Tigers grand final winner is capable of recapturing his best and he faces a steep learning curve to learn a new position so late in his career.

Broncos centre Jack Reed was this year forced into retirement though the club has recruited Gold Coast's David Mead as a replacement.

Marshall was left without a club after St George Illawarra declined to renew his deal after a disastrous 2016 in which Paul McGregor's side finished 11th and were heavily criticised for their boring playing style.

He fell out of favour and was dropped for the second last round.

He earlier in the year knocked back a $300,000 deal tabled by the Dragons.

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