Auckland Blues coach Sir John Kirwan today confirmed that Rugby League convert Benji Marshall would feature at fullback in next year’s Super Rugby competition as a way of hiding his defensive frailties from opposition teams.
At the launch of the Blues’ 2014 squad, Kirwan said that it was obvious “even to a blind man” that Marshall lacked any defensive ability and that the Blues had signed the League star purely as an attempt to encourage Auckland Warriors fans to switch codes too.
“We’ve all seen the magic that Benji can create on attack,” Kirwan wrote into a large sandpit with a stick, “but we also know that defensively he couldn’t tackle a paraplegic in a wheelchair. Obviously we can’t afford to have that type of defensive weakness at halfback or first five, so we figured sticking Benji at fullback would minimise the chances that he’d embarrass himself by trying to tackle anyone.”
Kirwan went on to also write that “The All Blacks and Crusaders already hide Israel Dagg’s lack of tackling ability in the same way, so we figured it must be a pretty successful measure,” before he ran out of room in the sandpit.
For his part, Benji Marshall is said to be excited about his positional switch, “Absolutely am I excited,” Marshall said while Kirwan continued to stare blankly into the middle distance. “Being at fullback means I get to do all the flashy stuff like catching balls, passing balls and kicking balls without having to worry about big guys trying to run at me. If someone does run at me, I’ll just blame the guys up front for not making their first up tackles. So it’s pretty much a win win for everyone.”