Hurricanes utility back James Marshall is set to join English Premiership side London Irish for the 2016-17 season.
Marshall played an influential role in the Hurricanes’ 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign, helping them reach the final. He’s also been hugely successful with New Zealand Cup side Taranaki, captaining them to championship glory in 2014.
However, he is realistic about his future in New Zealand and his chances of playing for the All Blacks.
‘I don't think, to be fair, I was ever going to be in the All Blacks frame of things. I don't think I was ever going to get there, so I thought it was good timing for me [to move on],’ he said.
The 27-year old began looking for clubs to play for in England, finally settling on London Irish because of their Kiwi connections in coach Tom Coventry (former Chiefs assistant coach) and Clark Liadlaw (former Hurricanes assistant coach).
‘I’m looking forward to joining up with London Irish next year. The plans in place at the club are very exciting and it is an environment I am looking forward to being a part of,’ he said. ‘I know Tom Coventry and Clark Laidlaw well from coaching in New Zealand and I'm impressed by the ambition and vision for where they see the club going.’
Marshall will make the move to London following his 2016 commitments with New Zealand rugby.
Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images