Brisbane Broncos lock Josh McGuire expects supercoach Wayne Bennett to see out the end of his contract and remain the head coach for the 2019 season.
Bennett earlier received news his services at the club will not be extended beyond 2019 as many rumours are now starting to float around he is ready for an early exit.
However, McGuire believes it’s all just speculation and that Bennett will honour his contract.
Speaking to the media before departing for Australian Kangaroo duties, McGuire said Bennett will still be head coach come kick-off next season.
“There is a lot of speculation but as far as I am aware and what I have been told is that he will be there next year,” McGuire said.
“Us as a playing group are preparing for next year. We can’t look too far ahead. Obviously, things happen in rugby league but us as a playing group know we are playing footy next year and it will be under Wayne Bennett.
“He’s been telling us all year he has a contract [for 2019] and he will fulfil his contract. As a team, we will do our job and he will do his.”
Bennett’s speech at the Broncos awards night has been described as somewhat ‘cryptic’ but gave no indication he will be coaching elsewhere in 2019.
It is understood by NRL.com the staff and players from Brisbane have since that statement revealed Bennett has emphasised his commitment to the club.
However, there is great realisation Bennett’s mind could be clouded throughout next season as he plans to continue coaching in 2020, but first must find a club to do so at.
Adding to those rumours are Wests Tigers, who are working on striking up a deal to release current coach Ivan Cleary from his contract to join Penrith in order to secure Bennett on a long-term contract.
The NRL merry-go-round that is coaching positions for 2019 and beyond will continue to play out over the pre-season, but McGuire, who returns to pre-season in December, is more concerned about sending Bennett out a winner in 2019.
“I wouldn’t be playing rugby league if I didn’t want to win a premiership or didn’t believe in it,” McGuire said.
“It’s a long road and things happen in rugby league, but we haven’t been able to play to our potential or fulfil what the club required of us. The players know that and are disappointed about that but we can’t carry that with us. We have to move on and start next year fast.”