'He couldn't believe it' - Benji Marshall overjoyed at Kiwis return, says coach

Benji Marshall is relishing his return to Test match football, according to his coach for club and country, Michael Maguire.

Marshall, 34, hasn't played for the Kiwis since 2012, having notched 27 appearances for the New Zealand national side, but he's now been included in the final 19-man squad for this weekend's clash against Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium.

Stints with the Blues in rugby union as well as with the Dragons and Broncos in the NRL saw Marshall's standing within the Kiwis falter, with the likes of Shaun Johnson, Kieran Foran, Te Maire Martin and Kodi Nikorima all used in the halves.

However, Marshall's impact with the Wests Tigers so far in 2019 have seen the former skipper put his hand up leading into Saturday's showdown against Tonga.

Speaking to Stuff, coach Maguire spoke of Marshall's delight at the chance to be back with the Kiwis.

"I spoke to him about that fact that he's a potential and then in the last couple of days I've spoke to him about the fact that he's going to be playing," Maguire said.

"He was ecstatic actually, he couldn't believe it. It goes to show what the jersey means to a lot of these boys.

"He was quite blown away, to think that he always had a bit of a joke about loving to get back in here and perform at the Kiwi level."

Marshall will vie with Shaun Johnson and Kieran Foran for a spot in the Kiwis' halves combination, with Michael Maguire to name his side to face Tonga later this week.

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Marshall could make a sensational return to the Kiwis later this year. Source: 1 NEWS

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