Speculation is rife about the near-term future of NRL Coach Wayne Bennett.
He is contracted to the Brisbane Broncos through the end of this season and the next, but the Broncos are not willing to give Bennet the extension he desires, hoping that Bennett’s desire to stay in Brisbane is stronger than his wish for an extended deal.
It seems at this point that it is a question of when, not if Bennett leaves and the most recent reports suggest that he could return to the St. George Illawarra Dragons, where he led the team to 51 wins in 79 games between 2009 and 2011, including two minor premierships and a Grand Final win in 2010.
The Dragons’ current Coach, Paul McGregor is committed to the club until the end of next year, but as is often the case, contracts are little more than guidelines.
It seems somewhat odd that Bennett was seeking only an additional year with the Broncos, but the club’s board did not see fit to give the extension to the man is seen by some of the Coach Emeritus of the league.
NRL 360 host Paul Kent expressed the view that Bennett at St. George next season is not farfetched.
“Peter Doust [Dragons CEO], I remember talking to him once after they missed out on getting Wayne back to the club. He won the premiership and then left after 2011. They had another crack at him and they missed out. He (Doust) said the one thing about Bennett is that when you went to bed at night, you knew the football department was in good shape because Wayne was in charge.”
The Dragons are on the sort of slide that sees coaches become expendable. They have lost five of their past six and this is not the time of year for that sort of thing.
The Dragons have had their chances with Bennett in the past and it would seem the collective thinking of the club is that bringing Bennett back would be the best route to follow to return to their top form.