Benji Marshall stripped of New Zealand captaincy

New Zealand's Benji Marshall playing against Australia on October 24, 2009
© PA Photos
Benji Marshall is stripped of the New Zealand captain's armband ahead of the World Cup.

New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney has stripped Benji Marshall of the captain's armband.

The Kiwis boss has chosen to select a new captain for the World Cup, but insists that the Wests Tigers half-back remains an integral part of the team.

"It was a very tough conversation," PA quotes Kearney as saying. "Benji is an immensely proud New Zealander and his desire was to continue in the captaincy role.

"Although this decision has been a difficult one, it has been made in the best interests of the team and Benji will remain an integral part of the Kiwis going forward."

New Zealand will hold a press conference in Aukland on Friday to name Marshall's successor.

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