Benji plays hard to get with the Blues

BENJI Marshall hasn't signed with the Blues yet but an announcement is expected soon.

A tweet from an Australian journalist yesterday sent the rumour mill into overdrive but the Blues and Marshall's agent Martin Tauber denied the 28-year-old soon-to-be-former Wests Tigers league player had agreed on terms with the Auckland-based Super rugby franchise.

The Blues soon after posted a reply from their Twitter account: "The recent tweet by @joshmassoud about Benji Marshall signing with the Blues is INCORRECT."

Blues coach Sir John Kirwan recently met Marshall, likely to play at fullback once he makes the switch, and is positive the player will sign. Marshall was also optimistic after his most recent meeting with the former All Black, saying he was excited by the opportunity. The only sticking point appears to be money - Marshall is likely to have to take a big pay cut.

Whakatane-born Marshall wants to give himself the chance to make the All Blacks but, not surprisingly, coach Steve Hansen was taking a cautious approach.

"He's a world-class rugby league player and a world-class athlete and, by all accounts, listening to the media and listening to him talk, he seems to be a very good character," Hansen said recently.

"So to have someone like that who wants to be an All Black is great."

The Blues are also waiting to hear about another target - All Black and Hurricanes first-five Beauden Barrett.



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