Te Maire Martin: The next Benji Marshall

Like his idol Benji, Te Maire hails from New Zealand and grew up wanting to be an All Black before shifting to rugby league in high school.

The playmaker moved across the pond to Marshall’s old stomping ground, Keembra Park High on the Gold Coast, and carved up there before joining Marshall’s first NRL club Wests Tigers.

Here he is in his high school days.

Over two seasons Martin made his name in the National Youth Competition and was named in the Under-20s team of the year in both 2014 and 2015.

Stuck behind Wests’ young first-grade halves Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses, the New Zealander has joined Penrith after he was the subject of a bidding war.

The Titans, Dragons, Storm and Panthers were all after him, but the Chocolate Soliders landed their man.

To many, he is viewed as the one of the most promising young talents in either Australia or New Zealand.

Former Australian and NSW halfback Brett Kimmorley says Martin is the best playmaker in both the NYC and NSW Cup competitions.

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney is also a fan. Kearney offered Martin the chance to train with the senior New Zealand squad for the tour to England.

He looks to have it all – pace, great passing ability, quality footwork and an excellent kicking game.

The 20-year old played just one game in the NSW Cup this year and was impressive in that match.

Martin is set to learn under experienced halfback pairing Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace at the foot of the mountains for the next few years. Both Soward and Wallace have played Origin footy.

Martin has already represented his country at junior international level and he’s also shown he can handle pressure moments, kicking a field goal to give the Junior Kiwis a win over the Junior Kangaroos.

This kid can score tries, set them up and is also a solid defender. He’s an excitement machine with the ball in his hands.

Benji Marshall was Martin’s idol growing up and he has modelled his game on the St George Illawarra half.

“I’m not getting carried [away], but if I could get nearly as good as he is – when he was in his prime he was unstoppable – I’d be stoked,”
Martin told The Sydney Morning Herald this month.

According to reports, the halfback has been training the house down at Penrith and is in with a chance of making his first-team debut in the coming months.

Te Maire Martin – remember the name.

He’ll be starring at an NRL ground before too long.  

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