Wayne Bennett won’t actively raid Brisbane’s roster to enhance the Rabbioths’ squad for the 2020 season, but he hasn’t ruled out Broncos players following him to South Sydney at the end of next year.
Bennett on Thursday was announced as the Rabbitohs’ coach for the 2020 season, with current Rabbits boss Anthony Seibold joining the Broncos after Bennett’s contract runs out in 2019.
The legendary coach has notoriously been joined by players as he has moved clubs over the past seasons (notably Darius Boyd), although Bennett told NRL.com that won’t be high on his agenda during the 2019 campaign.
“I won’t be looking to [bring players over], no, but again you’ve got to understand the ramifications,” Bennett told NRL.com while in Hull with the England side.
“There’s a number of players at the Broncos that specifically come to play because I’m the coach. And I’m not going to be the coach after ’19. They’re all big boys and have grown up, they’ll have to make their own decisions with what they want to do.”
Bennett believes Boyd will finish his career in Queensland, given he’s in the twilight of his career.
“Darius won’t leave now, he’s at the end of his career,” Bennett said.
“The other boys are there because I was there, it’s up to them with what they want to do.”
Bennett was close to joining the Wests Tigers as a replacement for the soon-to-depart Ivan Cleary, although the Tigers weren’t able to wait an extra season, allowing the Rabbitohs to swoop in and land the 68-year-old.
“I did [consider the Tigers], I absolutely did, but they wanted a coach in ’19 and I wasn’t available. I’m committed to the Broncos, that hasn’t changed. If they change their position at the Broncos, well, they’ll have to come and have a talk to me about that,” Bennett added.
“I’ve said all along I’ve got a contract for 2019 and Souths recognise that and were happy to take me from 2020.
“It’s my intention to fill that unless I’m told otherwise. It doesn’t change anything for me but that’s my position. If the Broncos have another position they’ll have to address that – I know what my position is.
“It come about because Anthony [Seibold] was in discussion at the Broncos and I was told I wasn’t required. Souths were feeling vulnerable that they were going to lose their coach and that’s how it come about.”