RugbyL: Marshall rejoins NRL with Dragons

New Zealand international Benji Marshall will re-join Australia's National Rugby League after agreeing to sign for St George Illawarra Dragons, the club said Friday.

Marshall, 29, joins the Dragons on a two-and-a-half year contract after an ill-fated and brief switch to rugby union with the Auckland Blues this year.

Marshall played for 11 seasons with NRL rivals Wests Tigers, winning the premiership in 2005, before switching to the 15-a-side code with sights on playing for the All Blacks at next year's World Cup.

But he was never comfortable with his new code and played only 212 minutes of the first eight games of the Super Rugby season with the Blues before quitting.

"I'm very excited to be back in the NRL and grateful to the Dragons for the opportunity to represent this great club," Marshall said.

"To me, the Dragons are a team on the rise which I am very keen to be a part of.

"I'm looking forward to meeting all the boys and getting back into training and try to earn a spot in the team."

The 2010 Golden Boot winner has played 27 Tests for New Zealand, captaining the side from 2009-12, and was involved in the Kiwis' World Cup (2008) and Four Nations (2010) tournament wins.

Head Coach Steve Price said the versatile half's decision to join the Dragons will provide an exciting dimension to the existing playing roster.

"Benji is a quality player who I believe will bring that real 'x-factor', especially in our attack," Price said.

The Dragons are banking on Marshall forming a potent halves combination with English international Gareth Widdop as they attempt to reinvigorate themselves as an NRL force.