Bye bye Benji: Marshall to officially announce retirement

Benji Marshall will officially call time on his illustrious playing career at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

South Sydney has called a press conference for 2pm [AEDT] at which Marshall will make the announcement alongside coach Wayne Bennett and chief executive Blake Solly. Marshall didn’t experience the ultimate farewell, a grand final victory, after the Panthers beat the Rabbitohs in Sunday’s decider at Suncorp Stadium.

However, the 36-year-old will be remembered as one of the greatest players of his generation during a 346-game NRL career for the Tigers, Dragons, Broncos and Rabbitohs.

Marshall has been coy about his future during the finals series, keen not to take attention away from his team during its quest for a 22nd premiership.

Speaking just moments after full-time on Sunday, the former Golden Boot winner was non-committal about his future.

“I think I’ll know in the bottom of my heart if it is time or not,” he said.

Benji Marshall will hang up the boots.Credit:Getty

“My wife is very supportive, she wants me to do whatever I think is best, but we’ll see. It’s hard to process after that sort of year.

“We’ll see what the options are in the next couple of days, celebrate the season we had with the boys. We’ll see what happens.”

Souths were open to the prospect of keeping him on the books had he opted to extend his playing career for a 20th season. However, the former Kiwi international will step away to give a raft of promising playmakers – including Blake Taaffe and Lachlan Ilias – the chance to cement their spots in the South Sydney line-up.

Marshall’s retirement marks a changing of the guard at Redfern with veteran halfback Adam Reynolds (Broncos), Jaydn Su’A (Dragons) and Dane Gagai (Knights) heading to new clubs next year.

Bennett, who is expected to link with expansion hopefuls Redcliffe Dolphins, will hand over the clipboard to assistant coach Jason Demetriou next year.

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