Benji Marshall’s bid to return to Kiwis colours has the endorsement of New Zealand captain Adam Blair.

The long-time teammates at club and Test level lock horns this weekend when the Warriors host the Wests Tigers in a third versus fifth National Rugby League clash in Auckland.

Veteran half Marshall has turned back the clock in his return to the Tigers, where he played for a decade and orchestrated a 2005 premiership win while Blair’s arrival at the Warriors has coincided with their strongest start to any season.

Blair says Marshall has thrived returning to the club and is clearly motivated to end a six-year Test absence.

Benji Marshall’s bid to return to Kiwis colours has the endorsement of New Zealand captain Adam Blair.

The long-time teammates at club and Test level lock horns this weekend when the Warriors host the Wests Tigers in a third versus fifth National Rugby League clash in Auckland.

Veteran half Marshall has turned back the clock in his return to the Tigers, where he played for a decade and orchestrated a 2005 premiership win while Blair’s arrival at the Warriors has coincided with their strongest start to any season.

Blair says Marshall has thrived returning to the club and is clearly motivated to end a six-year Test absence.

“He’s back to playing some calm footy and being a real leader at that club,” Blair said.

“He’s given himself every chance and he’s never said no to the jersey, so if he’s in the right frame of mind and he’s all keen and he warrants an opportunity, then why not?”

Marshall’s hopes may hinge on the identity of a yet-to-be-appointed coach, whose first assignment will be next month’s Test against England in Denver, Colorado.

Blair never hit his straps in three seasons at the Tigers but has admired the progress the club has made.

Their 5-3 record is nearly as surprising as the Warriors’ 6-2 return.

He believes both clubs are punching above their weight because of a fighting attitude.

“It seems to me like they’re scrapping for everything,” he said.

“What we’re trying to here, they’re trying to do at their club; work hard for each other and turn up when times are tough.”

Blair said the Warriors weren’t down in the dumps for long after the 50-10 Anzac Day loss to Melbourne.

“Everyone’s upbeat. Our focus quickly shifted to the next game,” he said.

-AAP

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