No Benji Marshall at World Cup

Benji Marshall will not play for New Zealand at the World Cup.

Marshall, 28, switches codes to rugby union with Auckland Blues at the end of the year and has told selectors he is not available.

The 2010 Golden Boot winner now looks to have played his final game of rugby league, given Wests Tigers‘ failure to reach the NRL play-offs.

New Zealand selector Tony Iro said: “We’re naturally disappointed to not have Benji available for World Cup selection.

“We understand the circumstances and wish him well. He’ll always be a Kiwi brother and he has done wonders not only for rugby league in New Zealand, but the game in general.”

New Zealand have named a 17-man squad so far, made up of players not featuring in the NRL play-offs.

They will name their final 24-man World Cup squad on October 8.

New Zealand train-on squad: Adam Blair (Wests Tigers), Lewis Brown (Penrith), Bronson Harrison (St George), Alex Glenn, Josh Hoffman (both Brisbane), Shaun Johnson, Thomas Leuluai, Kevin Locke (all New Zealand Warriors), Sam McKendry (Penrith), Simon Mannering, Ben Matulino (both New Zealand Warriors), Jason Nightingale (St George), Sam Rapira (New Zealand Warriors), Tim Simona (Wests Tigers), Elijah Taylor, Manu Vatuvei (both New Zealand Warriors), Dean Whare (Penrith).

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