Wayne Bennett has reportedly signed a deal to coach the NRL’s new team, The Dolphins, for three years from 2023, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The news comes only hours after the ARLC announced The Dolphins as the winning expansion bid.
Bennett finished coaching the Rabbitohs with last week’s grand final loss, but appears to have landed a new job immediately.
He was coy after the grand final when speaking about his next career move, saying he had a number of options on the table.
The Dolphins, however, denied a deal is already in concrete.
Why Dolphins want Bennett to coach
“I said earlier about having lofty ambitions and wanting to be the best in the land, and to be the best in the land you want to hire the best people in the land,” Dolphins chairman Bob Jones told media.
“I think if Wayne’s not the best in the land, he’s right up there. We’ve reached out to Wayne, and those discussions are progressing nicely.
“Hopefully in the next little while we’ll know what’s happening. Talks are progressing (but) no, he’s not signed yet.”
NRL admits Dolphins as 17th team
Bennett, 71, is one of the most successful coaches in rugby league history, having won seven first-grade premierships and coached the Broncos, Dragons, Knights, and Rabbitohs in the NRL.
He is a Queenslander and will act as the face of The Dolphins, with the new club hoping his drawing power can attract a number of the game’s best players.
Bennett’s first task will be to search the market and find elite talent.
A number of Queenslanders – including Cameron Munster, Christian Welch, and Reed Mahoney – have already been linked to the new club, which will enter the competition in 2023.
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