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The Rabbitohs have thrown Benji Marshall a career lifeline and signed the former Tiger to a one-year deal for 2021.

Marshall, who turns 36 in February, will now have the opportunity to add to his 324 NRL games and chase a second premiership to go with his 2005 title at Wests Tigers.

Marshall will become the 10th player of the NRL era to play past his 36th birthday, and the oldest in this year's competition provided Cameron Smith does not play on.

“I have a lot of gratitude to get the opportunity to play again in the NRL," Marshall said on Friday.

“I couldn’t sleep last night, I was that excited. It felt like it was the first day at school.

“It’s an opportunity for me to not only play, but to go out winning a competition. With this squad here, the coaches, it’s a great opportunity for that and that’s my goal."

Marshall's decorated career appeared to be over after he was released by Wests Tigers last September but he has been thrown a lifeline by Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett, who also revitalised the Kiwi's career at Brisbane on a cut-price deal in 2017.

Bennett and Marshall also joined forces in 2008 when New Zealand pulled off a stunning upset in the World Cup final against Australia.

"Benji is a leader of men, he has been playing at the highest levels of the game over a long and distinguished career and he comes with the highest of recommendations from Wayne Bennett," said Rabbitohs head of football Mark Ellison.

"His experience and knowledge that he can pass down to the young up-and-coming halves we have at the club will be priceless."


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