Kiwis prop fondly recalls trying to emulate new teammate Benji Marshall as a child

Kiwis prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona didn't shy away today from revealing his admiration for Wests Tigers legend Benji Marshall, who is his new international teammate.

The 23-year-old told reporters during a media scrum this afternoon that Marshall was everyone's idol at school.

"Back in school you would hear all the boys, it would be like pick your player and everyone would pick Benji," said Asofa-Solomona.

"It's pretty surreal to have him in camp," he added. "You know, his leadership as well - just seeing him around camp, it's pretty surreal."

Asofa-Solomona was nine years old in 2005 when Marshall won an NRL Premiership title as a 20-year-old for the Tigers.

The Kiwis host Mate Ma'a Tonga on Saturday at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland.

Last time the two sides met, Tonga defeated New Zealand 28-22 in Hamilton at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

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Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 23, said he was in disbelief at the opportunity to play alongside the NRL star. Source: 1 NEWS

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