South Sydney Rabbitohs Training Session
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09: Rabbbitohs assistant coach Jason Demetriou talks to Rabbitohs head coach Wayne Bennett during a South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL training session at Redfern Oval on March 09, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The NRL's worst-kept secret - Wayne Bennett will be coaching the Dolphins in 2023 - is all but confirmed.

Bennett, who has coached at the Broncos, Dragons, Knights and Rabbitohs, is set to take charge of the Dolphins in 2023, and while there has been no official announcement yet, news reported yesterday suggested an announcement could be made by the end of the week.

The 71-year-old is one of the game's best coaches, and has incredible pulling power when it comes to getting stars on board to join him.

Simply put, players love playing in Wayne Bennett-coached teams. The Dolphins are understandably keen on acquiring the veteran coaches services, with his Queensland origin making him the ideal candidate.

Bid chief Terry Reader told SEN Radio on Thursday that the discussions are well advanced, and that the club are "very confident" in securing Bennett as their inaugural coach.

It would mean Bennett would spend the next 12 months setting up the playing roster without actually coaching any first-grade games, before returning to the coaches box at the age of 73.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Wayne Bennett head coach of the Rabbitohs looks on prior to the round 12 NRL match between the Parramatta Eels and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Bankwest Stadium on May 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

“We’ve done a lot of work in the background, make no mistake about that, which will roll out different things now," Reader said.

“The coach is the first one, that November 1 deadline is looming large for when we can sign players and start building our roster for the ‘23 season.

“There’s a lot of players off-contract, so we have to have a lot of players in the football department and some key personnel in place and there’s none bigger that you need than the coach.

“That’s the focus now, and we are speaking to Wayne, and we’re very confident we’ll make him our inaugural coach in ‘23.

“That’s very exciting for our state, our city and certainly The Dolphins.”

It's understood Harry Grant and Cameron Munster may be the first two players on the Dolphins' radar, however, Cody Walker has also been touted as a potential target should Bennett end up as coach of the club.