5 May 2009

Marshall declares himself fit for ANZAC league Test

12:09 pm on 5 May 2009

The Kiwis captain Benji Marshall has declared himself a certain starter for Friday night's rugby league Test against Australia in Brisbane.

Marshall missed Sunday's NRL match for club side Wests Tigers due to illness and a badly bruised thigh but says he'll be "100 per cent" for the Test.

Marshall was rested from training on Monday as were forwards Frank Pritchard and Jeremy Smith, who have neck and ankle injuries respectively.

The New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney has refused to reveal where Marshall will line up in the halves but Marshall says he'll be at halfback.

He says he was surprised but excited to be given the captaincy responsibilities after Souths Sydney prop Roy Asotasi was expected to resume the mantle from Nathan Cayless, who retired from international league after last year leading the Kiwis to World Cup success.

Kearney says he'll wait a couple of days before deciding upon the availability of the in-form back-rowers Smith and Pritchard.