Coaching jobs ‘up for grabs’ in the wake of news Bennett will leave Newcastle.
Brisbane legend Shane Webcke beleives soon-to-be free agent coach Wayne Bennett could be what the Broncos needs to help them secure their long-term future in the NRL.
Bennett last week announced he is leaving his current post at the Newcastle Knights, saying he does not feel he can give the job the time it needs.
Currently the Knights are in a battle with the Cronulla Sharks and Canberra Raiders for last position on the NRL ladder, and after the financial turmoil brought on by Nathan Tinkler’s failed ownership of the Knights, it might take some time for them to get back into the hunt to play in the finals.
All of which has only added to the rumours that Bennett could be signed by the same club that he guided in 532 games and the one that largely defined his legacy in the NRL.
Despite his illustrious history with the Broncos, they and Bennett did not part on the best of terms, and the speculation he could be signed there again prompted Gordon Tallis to say: You don’t go back to an ex-wife or ex-partner. You left for a reason in the first place.
However, Webke has a slightly more positive outlook on the prospect of the six-time premiership winning coach going back to Red Hill, despite admitting ti might be a long-shot.
“I know him well enough to know that he does care and always has,” Webcke said.
“It doesn’t matter he went and coached elsewhere … I think his heart will always be at the Broncs.
“If we all look back at how it happened at the Broncs and everyone it involved (when Bennett left), it’d be difficult to argue there wouldn’t have been a better course of action than the way he did leave.
“But who knows the ins and outs of all that.
“He’s not going to coach until he’s 90.
“He knows the day’s going to come and I’d be very surprised if that wasn’t in his thinking if he was to come back to make some sort of plan for the future and to ensure the longevity of the place … help us transition into a new coach.”
The Gold Coast Titans looms as the hot favourite to land Bennett as their new coach after they announced a full internal review this week, heightening speculation that John Cartwright could be ousted.
Cartwright has failed to take the Titans to the same glory they enjoyed in 2009 and 2010, with the past three seasons seeing them finish last, 11th and 9th on the NRL ladder at the end of the season.