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‘I’m no longer a half, I’m a utility’: Marshall explains Souths role

“I was trying to play on the front foot, get the ball to our strike players like Cody and hopefully create some stuff by bringing energy.

“We could have moved centres to the wing, both our centres can play wing, our wingers can play centre, our fullback can play centre.

“I’m not a half any more, I’m a utility.

“There might be games I don’t even get on at all because we have forwards like Jai Arrow and Cam Murray who can play long minutes.

“If he doesn’t need to use me he doesn’t need to use me.

“There might be games we need four forwards on the bench, and if so I’m happy to play reserve grade.”

Marshall will come in handy off the bench against Manly on Saturday evening. Reynolds and Walker’s starting roles are not under threat.

Marshall in action against Melbourne last Thursday.

Marshall in action against Melbourne last Thursday.Credit:Getty Images

Despite being thrown a late, late lifeline by Souths, Marshall said his Storm effort did nothing to vindicate his decision to play on.

“I knew I could do it – I wouldn’t have played on if I thought I couldn’t, I would have retired,” Marshall said.

“The good thing with Souths is there is no pressure on me to be the main guy to come up with something. I’ve just got to do my job.”

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Josh Mansour, one of four new recruits on debut for Souths last week, along with Marshall, Arrow and Jacob Host, said you could notice the energy levels lift as soon as the Kiwi international was injected into the game.

“He came on and there was intent there, he puts some shots on, and he definitely made a difference,” Mansour said.

“He was trying to do as much as he could, he played on both sides of the park. He’s our utility off the bench and fit in wherever and try to make a difference. He’s Wayne’s Whisperer.”

Marshall, who spent plenty of time chatting with Bennett in the middle of a sunny Redfern Oval on Monday, said he had reached out to Smith after his retirement news last week.

“I messaged him to tell him how much he inspired not only a lot of kids but how much of a pleasure it was for me to play against him,” Marshall said.

“He was the best player I ever played against. I also played with him in the All Stars a couple of times and it was a buzz for me. I was sad he retired because now I’m officially the oldest player in the NRL.”

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