Benji the NRL’s greatest ever five-eighth: Luai

Penrith Panthers star Jarome Luai says Benji Marshall is the best five-eighth of all time due to changing the way rugby league is played, crediting the Souths star for inspiring him to play the game.

Luai is currently one of the NRL’s best five-eighths, with his terrific play likely to be rewarded with a State of Origin debut for Brad Fittler’s NSW Blues this year.

However, when asked who the best five-eighth in league history was, Luai overlooked his Origin coach for the man who he says sparked his love for the game.

“For me, it’s got to be Benji,” he told Complex AU’s The GOAT Show.

“He’s probably not the five-eighth that’s accomplished the most or who has won the most grand finals, but he’s a five-eighth that’s changed the way the game is played.

“The first ever game of rugby league (I watched) was Benji. We were at a camping trip and our next door neighbours somehow brought a portable TV and they happened to have the grand final going.

“I was about seven there and I fell in love with the game ever since and fell in love with Benji as well.

“It was pretty crazy that I got to room with him in the Maori All-Stars weekend just to get to know him as a guy and it’s fair to say he’s my GOAT.”

Luai will get to experience the Benji Marshall show first-hand in Round 11 with his Panthers set to take on Marshall’s South Sydney Rabbitohs.

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