Marshall eyes exit from relegated Leeds
18 April 2006Â
Former All Blacks halfback Justin Marshall spied many gaps in his career - now he's looking for an exit from newly relegated English rugby club Leeds.
Leeds dropped out of the premiership over the weekend and will play in National League One next year, but their marquee player wants out.
However Marshall's designs to play in top flight rugby are hampered.
He has a year remaining on his contract, but it does not include a get-out clause.
Marshall, 32, capped a record 81 times for a New Zealand halfback, said he was willing to leave Leeds if they released him, BBC Sport reported today.
"I came over here because I wanted something different," he said.
"But it didn't mean that I didn't want to experience it at the top level.
"That is what I came over for and what I seek. Ultimately, it's Leeds' decision what they want to do with me."
Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington confirmed Marshall has no escape clause in his deal.
"We want to build from here and Justin will be playing for Leeds in National League One next season," Hetherington said.
Marshall is reportedly the subject of a lucrative offer from French side Bourgouin, while newly-promoted Harlequins have also been linked with a move to reunite him with his former All Blacks partner, first five-eighth Andrew Mehrtens.
"I have played my heart and guts out this season," Marshall said.
"It would be an act of good faith if they let me go. But whatever happens, you put up with it.
"I would have expected Leeds to be a lot higher up than we are, and that seems a little bit like I have failed in what I came over here to do.
"I felt that Leeds were always competitive and capable of beating all the other teams in the competition, but what they couldn't do was win the close ones.
"I thought that perhaps with my experience I might have been able to help the side and get us into positions to win those sort of games, but that hasn't happened, so I feel slightly disappointed about that."