Auckland coach Wayne Pivac has said that the prospect of Benji Marshall playing in this year's ITM Cup is unlikely.
Marshall recently announced a cross-code switch from rugby league to play for the Blues in Super Rugby over the next two seasons.
Given his lack of game-time in Rugby Union, Pivac believes that after a tough season in the NRL with West Tigers, the right thing to do would be to give the 28-year-old a proper rest.
"I think the competition that he is in, he is going to need physically and mentally to freshen up so it was agreed by all parties that he is going to have a break," Pivac said.
"If he could have come back, it would probably have been toward the last round or two in the competition and we would be well into our work by then.
"For a conversion to happen in a couple of weeks I think is unrealistic, so I think the right decision has been made."