Marshall must sink or swim at 10

The New Zealand Herald's Chris Rattue says former rugby league star Benji Marshall needs to produce the big performances for the Blues.

Marshall played his first rugby union match since the age of 17 when he got 40 minutes at flyhalf for the Blues against the Hurricanes last weekend, and he will start again at 10 against the Waratahs on Friday.

Rattue admits he has 'little faith in [coach John] Kirwan turning the Blues around' and refers to the Marshall signing as a 'crazy experiment [that] got even crazier when the plan to start him as a fullback was scrapped. It's all so indecisive.'

'Here's the deal with Marshall,' Rattue added. 'He's not a training wheel – first-five-eighths [flyhalf] is the central cog. The bloke is on the big money, so we want the big performances.

'There's pressure all right, because this is professional sport, and that pressure includes debate over whether Marshall should have been signed in the first place.'

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Photo: Jason Oxenham/Getty Images

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Simon Borchardt