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Marshall set to return to Sydney with Blues at 15

Benji Marshall (c) is expected to start his Super Rugby career at fullback

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Article Published: Tuesday 17 December 2013|

NRL convert Benji Marshall is set to return to Sydney for his new team the Blues pre-season clash against the Waratahs and could feature at fullback.

The Blues will start their Super Rugby pre-season warm ups against the Hurricanes in Masterton and then the Waratahs on February the 7th before finishing with a match against the Chiefs in Rotorua.

Marshall's new team-mate Chris Noakes is hoping that the league convert will be a hit at fullback for the Blues.

Noakes has almost completed his recovery from a neck injury which required surgery and is one of three players who are strong candidates for the Blues No.10 jersey.

The Blues have Noakes, Marshall and Baden Kerr who at play at 10 while 19-year-old Simon Hickey will keep the pressure on the trio.

Noakes has admitted that he was an admirer of Marshall as a league player and wants to keep him at fullback. There has been much speculation that Marshall will start at fullback and then move to 10 once he is more familiar with the 15 man game.

"I've loved watching league over the years and certainly as he's a Kiwi, I've always followed him and I guess marvelled at the way he plays," Noakes told the NZ Herald.

"If he can replicate that sort of stuff in our game it's going to be pretty good for us. He's very level-headed and a smart rugby league player, obviously, so his ability to pick up the game plan and to control games - he should be able to make a pretty good fist of it wherever he ends up."

"I'd prefer him to be at 15, no doubt, but he could play 10 pretty easily with the skills that he has."

"My first thing is sorting my neck and to make sure I'm in the mix. But certainly my goal is to earn that 10 jersey again. My form faded [this year] so I'd like to have a higher level of consistency."

"If I can replicate that sort of form [at the start], I'd like to think I'd get picked again."

Noakes was sidelined for Bay of Plenty's ITM Cup said that the severity of his injury earlier this season made him question his playing future.

"I had to have a pretty big think about whether to carry on playing, because you don't play around with your neck."

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