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New Zealanders have long believed Kiwis rugby league captain Benji Marshall to be the best player in the world. That view was confirmed early in 2011 when he was named winner of the prestigious 2010 Golden Boot ? the international prize for the best player in the game. He is the first Wests Tigers player to win this award and only the third New Zealander. This international recognition was not surprising, especially given the virtuoso performance he put on in the final of the Four Nations tournament last year when New Zealand sneaked past Australia. Marshall has also been both inspirational and instrumental in many of New Zealand?s victories in recent times, including the World Cup win over Australia in 2008. Despite being only 26, he has crammed an awful lot into a career which first gained national prominence on both sides of the Tasman when he was selected to represent Australian Schoolboys back in 2003. Marshall?s talent, however, had been spotted some years earlier when, from his home town of Whakatane in New Zealand, he was offered a scholarship to play for a high school on the Gold Coast when he was just 16. From then on it has been a one-way path to the summit of the game. He made his debut for NRL club Wests in 2003 at just 18 and has been with the club ever since. He was a member of the Wests premiership-winning team in 2005 and, despite a string of injuries ? including major shoulder surgery twice! ? his star has continued to rise. His performances for the Kiwis in recent years have left critics on both sides of the Tasman breathless. In this book Marshall will not just talk about his great career, but also his childhood in New Zealand ? he was raised without his biological father, his move to Australia and his storybook entry into the game at the highest level.

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