Meet the little bundle of joy that Wests Tigers veteran Benji Marshall credits for making him a better player and man in the twilight of his career.
Marshall has focused on himself throughout his stellar NRL tenure but he says this has changed following the arrival of his first son, Benjamin Fox, last March.
Now the Kiwis playmaker is happy to juggle football with daddy day care duties like changing nappies, feeding and watching the Wiggles.
Marshall says this balance has helped him become a stronger leader while he is at peace with the fact his career is coming to an end.
“Being a dad has actually taught me a lot about being grateful,” said Marshall, who made his NRL debut with the Tigers in 2003.
“I’ve always wanted to be a parent but I didn’t understand how much it could really change me, shape me and make me a better person.
“I feel like having a son has been the best thing for me.
“It has given me perspective about life and another motivation that it isn’t just about me.
“His life is basically in my hands and I don’t take that for granted.”
Inspired by providing for his son, Marshall hasn’t ruled out playing again next season.
The 34-year-old has only made four appearances in 2019 due to a hamstring injury but he has performed in every game.
Marshall was a standout in the Wests Tigers’ dominant 26-point win over the hapless Panthers in round 9.
He showcased his class and composure to help the Tigers race in six tries.
Marshall says the secret to his success has been not worrying that 2019 could be his last season in the NRL.
“The hard thing for me is I don’t want to put all my eggs into focusing on the future when I’m still playing,” he said.
“I’ve thought about what I’ll do if I retire but I just want to enjoy playing this year.
“I’ve signed with Fox Sports for two years, so I feel like I don’t need to worry about that too much.
“Then at least at the end of the year I can know that I’ve got that media commitment if I do decide to hang the boots up.”