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Former England coach Wayne Bennett set for shock move?

Wayne Bennett

There has been much speculation about the future of former England head coach Wayne Bennett next season, including links to the Parramatta Eels and South Sydney Rabbitohs. 

Bennett, a seasoned NRL coach with a career spanning over four decades, has a track record of success with various clubs, including the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons.

So far this season, Bennett has been tactful in avoiding questions about his future, especially with the news of his former assistant coach Jason Demetriou potentially facing the axe, a situation that could significantly influence Bennett’s decision.

One of the main questions asked is whether he will return to his former club, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. He was head coach from 2019-2021 and is considered the primary choice by the club to take over the coaching reigns for the 2025 NRL season, alongside Kangaroos boss Mal Meninga.

Current club The Dolphins plan to let the 74-year-old go at the end of the season as former St Helens and Tonga coach Kristan Woof will replace him for the 2025 season.

However, Bennett has no intention of leaving the game anytime soon.

Bennett famously guided the Rabbitohs to the Grand Final in his last season at the club, along with two preliminary finals. Therefore, many fans and journalists expect to see him coach the side next season and beyond.

Wayne Bennett set for return to South Sydney?

It was revealed that Jason Demetriou is set to be axed by South Sydney Rabbitohs after Saturday’s game against the Cronulla Sharks. Bennett has commented on his coaching future amidst links to his former club.

Bennett clarified on The Courier Mail: “I am here until the end of the season, and I have made no decisions about going anywhere or doing anything, so we will wait and see.

“Everyone is having an opinion on it. My opinion is the one that matters but I’m not sharing it with anyone, so keep guessing guys.

“Don’t try and predict the future. That’s the only tip I’m giving you,” he concluded.

During a training session, Bennett tried to shut down speculation that he would join South Sydney. He also rejected claims that he nearly joined the Parramatta Eels.

The Eels managed to reach the 2022 Grand Final, but they have struggled since then. They currently sit 14th in the NRL, a shadow of their former self.

Parramatta head coach Brad Arthur is reportedly on the verge of getting sacked as he struggles to get the Eels back to winning ways, with Bennett’s name again mentioned as part of a coaching restructure.

However, yet again, The Dolphins head coach has denied these rumours, as his number one priority at the moment is the Redcliffe-based club.

When quizzed, Bennett answered: “Not even nearly. I haven’t even walked past the (Parramatta) ground.”

The Dolphins play away to neighbours Brisbane Broncos on Saturday, as Bennett’s side looks to maintain top spot heading into round six of the NRL after their superb start to the season.

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