Assistant Steve Price is to replace Wayne Bennett as coach of the St George Illawarra Dragons after this season.

Bennett declined to renew his contract but said today he had yet to decide where he would coach next season.

With Brisbane, Newcastle, South Sydney and North Queensland all after his services for next season, Bennett’s future has been the subject of huge speculation for months. The conjecture will only intensify now he has confirmed he is leaving the Dragons.

The Broncos and Knights appear to be racing for his signature, with Souths officials resigned to having missed out. While the Broncos are favourites, he is believed to be keeping a close eye on tomorrow night’s vote by Newcastle members on Nathan Tinkler’s takeover bid for their club before making a final decision.

Tinkler has made it known he wants Bennett as coach if 75 per cent of Newcastle members vote to sell him the club, and the mining magnate is rumoured to have made a staggering offer of between $1.5 million and $2 million a season for Bennett’s services.

Bennett has an association with Tinkler Sports Group chairman Ken Edwards, whose brother Shane was a former Broncos chief executive during Bennett’s 21-year reign as Brisbane coach.

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A move to the Knights would enable him to try to fulfil his ambition of becoming the first coach to win premierships at three clubs.

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald