One of Wayne Bennett's former favourites, Nathan Fien, is the frontrunner to find his way back to him at The Dolphins in 2023.

Fien was part of the premiership-winning team under Bennett at the St George Illawarra Dragons during the famous 2010 season.

Playing as hooker alongside Dean Young, the duo both played in the grand final, and are now both in the coaching ranks, with Young currently serving as Todd Payten's assistant at the North Queensland Cowboys.

Retiring from playing at the end of the 2013 season, Fien has stayed involved in the sport, and has had heavy involvement with touch football while living in Wollongong.

Wide World of Sports' The Mole however reports that the former New Zealand Kiwi star is now the favourite to nab the assistant coaching role at The Dolphins next year and to succeed Bennet at the end of his contract, triggering a move back to Queensland.

Fien was born in Mount Isa and spent the first 91 games of his career with the North Queensland Cowboys, before playing 105 at the New Zealand Warriors. The final 81 were at the Dragons, with Fien playing 22 Tests for New Zealand to go with 277 first-grade games.

The pair have remained close since their premiership-winning days at the Dragons. Fien has reportedly performed well coaching Corrimal, impressing Bennet with his coaching style.

With Bennet turning 75 in the final year of his contract, Fien would act as Bennett's successor - as Jason Demetriou did this season.

It has been widely reported that Bennett wants to set up a similar system to the one he had at South Sydney, with a successor ready to take over once his three years coaching the NRL's newest club comes to an end.