BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 16: South coach Anthony Seibold speaks to media during a press conference after the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium on August 16, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Anthony Seibold and Wayne Bennett are certain to swap clubs for the 2020 season, but it would be pure lunacy for the pair not to switch places a year early.

South Sydney acted quickly last week, announcing the signing of Wayne Bennett for the 2020 and 2021 seasons just hours after Anthony Seibold informed Rabbitohs officials that he would join Brisbane following the completion of his contract in Redfern.

While South Sydney’s Shane Richardson has publicly declared that the club is more than happy to leave Seibold at the helm for the 2019 season, it is just utter idocracy if the two clubs aren’t trying to ensure the coaches swap seats within the coming weeks.

See, a player signing a contract a year in advance is an entirely different ball game to that of a coach signing a deal twelve months before it starts.

Take Angus Crichton for example.

The South Sydney back-rower made the decision to sign a three-year contract with the Sydney Roosters, starting in 2019, before a ball had even been kicked this year. While some Bunnies’ fans called for his early exit, there’s no reason to release a player of his calibre. His job within the team is simplistic – go out there and give it his all.

A coach is an entirely different scenario.

A head coach handles recruitment, retention, development and a host of other integral roles within the team. Which means when a coach signs a contract a year in advance, he’s simply got to go.

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A club can’t afford to have a departing coach spend the entirety of a season talking to his off-contract players and swaying them to follow him, they can’t afford to watch their juniors not develop properly with the coach too engrossed in his future club’s juniors and recruitment.

Wayne Bennett is one of the strongest cases there is.

The coaching veteran has said it himself, some players aren’t loyal to Brisbane, they’re loyal to him.

Darius Boyd has followed Bennett for the entirety of his career. From his premiership winning debut year in 2006, to following the coach to St. George Illawarra, then across to the Hunter, and eventually landing back in Brisbane.

However, Boyd has already stated he won’t be following Bennett south, the superstar custodian nearing the backend of his glittering career.

Tevita Pangai Jnr is a different story. The Tongan international has made no secret of his respect and adoration for his head coach, and his loyalty to the man could see him move clubs for 2020.

And if Bennett is allowed to stay, then that’s twelve months that Wayne has to convince the hulking forward to jump ship with him. The same case applies to James Roberts and Matt Lodge, both of whom credit their coach for turning them around on and off the field.

Likewise goes for Anthony Seibold, allowing him a year to convince off-contract rep star Damien Cook to follow him to Red Hill.

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While publicly they’ll ensure the public know that their focus is solely on seeing out their contracts with their current clubs in winning fashion, it’s undoubted that both men will have their eye on strengthening their 2020 roster, and ignore recruitment at their club.

South Sydney and Brisbane would only be shooting themselves in the foot if they were to retain their incumbent coach, and weakening elements about their short term future.

The curve ball here comes in the form of Wayne Bennett digging his heels and refusing to leave Brisbane unless he’s sacked by the club. Unlike the relationship between Seibold and Shane Richardson, there is a certain toxicity between Bennett and Broncos’ CEO Paul White.

White and Bennett’s differences were aired publicly through the media this year, and climaxed in White informing the premiership winning coach that his services would no longer be required after his contract expires.

Another season at the helm would create an immense level of tension at the Broncos in 2019, presenting yet another reason why the clubs must trade coaches now.

South Sydney, Brisbane, if you want to strengthen your future, release your coach. Release him now. You can’t afford to leave someone at the wheel who has their eyes elsewhere for the next season.

Loyalty still has a place in rugby league, but sometimes if you want your business to succeed, you need to momentarily abandon it.


  1. For the well being of both these clubs the swap is a must . If the swap does not take place both these teams will not make the eight next season, that for the fans of both clubs would be an unacceptable situation all because a few people let their ego’s get in the way of what really counts, the fans and the players. So boys suck it up do the right thing swap and move on,!!!!!!

  2. A Not real happy with JAMES ROBERTS if u’d ask most Broncos fan , I don’t want a bloke who comes out and says he will walk if Bennett’s leaves this year . He should b pulling his head in or packin his bags an leave now. If Bennett leave asap it’s Wayne’s call he’s the one that will want to leave . The Broncos r the reason he’s still playing in the NRL. Yea Bennett got him here but it’s the Broncos that allowed him to put on our Brisbane jersey an with his comments about walking is pretty disrespectful to Brisbane fans. He’s been pretty average for the club and b lucky to play 4 the blues again Tommy out played him and he’s a fullback so I’d b happy 2c him go . I will never respect him as a team player ever again. Logde should think twice about his actions to Brisbane save his ass to.
    Our games got NO loyalty in it anymore.

  3. Absolutely appalling that Seibold has made the unruly reckless decision, to abandoned his post at South Sydney so early, after our club recognize his ability and gave him a NRL career path.

    Bennet is no different after approaching Souths hierarchy asking for a start whilst still under contract with Brisbane.

    These pair of back biters will have to contend with Karma as their opponent. I for one have to concede both clubs will be of little value or influence, competing for the top eight next season, with or without an interchange trade-off of coaching between the two back stabbers. Extremely disruptive to both clubs and players at Souths, having no security with the threat, Bennett wants to fill our club with his rejects, that were outplayed comprehensively by the largest margin in a semifinal in recent memory against St George this season.

    South Sydney under Seibold were building magnificently missing a grand final by one game. after being tipped by many experts to have a poor season. Now this selfish swine has undone all this years high achievements.

    Bennett is washed up and his ancient history techniques have been exposed regularly over the past three seasons. He is not the answer and is bringing our club unstuck with current players concerns for their futures. Bennett has been unwanted by Brisbane for some time. Realistically Bennett should have retired after the 2015 grand final. It appears money is his motivation undoubtedly due to his past marriage breakdown losing half his assets. Now us Souths fans are to consolidate our loyalties with him from in all likelihood 2019 and beyond. Souths fans, we have some tough times ahead.

    • Russ crower, stop making comments about Souths when everyone knows your an Easts supporter, all this year you have not said one positive thing about Souths, and now you have Kelby has your ally, enough said there, if you were a true Souths supporter you would back the judgement of Souths to make the right decision for what they view to be the best option going forward.

      • Mr Penso, my passion towards the Rabbits is unquestionable. I can prove to all who searches for evidence that I am a true blue rabbit.

        If you would love to view my love towards our team, then view the highlights of the 2018 Preliminary Final and fast forward it towards the 17.33 min section whilst the Roosters are lining up a goal kick. There is a person in the background performing a “balk maneuver” to enable Taukeiaho the goal kicker to lose concentration frustrating him into to halt the ball from going between the posts.

        That South Sydney Rabbit Fanatic, is I. Do not be afraid, view it. 17th minute and thirty third second.

  4. A come on Brisbane’s beating the rabbits twice this year. R8 won by 4 and R23 won by 20. So what r U saying about rejectes and having a poor finals. I think it’s 28years since the Broncos missed the finals. How have the rabbits gone just over the last decade. U’s have probably only made the finals 5 out of 10 years. The only rejected unfortunately 4 the rabbits its your new coach bennett, and it’s not only the Broncos club that didn’t want him the fans didn’t ever. Bennetts or old and dry , U got one think right he’s about the money.

    • Well Brisbane missed the Finals in 2013. So that would be 6 seasons ago that they missed the finals.
      Maybe you meant 28 years since they lost a penalty count at home? Or 28 years since they didn’t play 90% of home games on Friday night? Sure I am joking about those 2 things, but has anyone checked?
      However you’d think South’s did want Bennett as coach to poach some players from Brisbane . Otherwise they could have tried to hire another young coach like : Adam O’Brien , Jason Demetriou .

    • You can think all you like dutto78 but your ponies finished 10th in 2010 and 12th in 2013. When I went to school mate that don’t add up to 28yrs ago;)

  5. U’s r on crack Brisbane’s hasn’t made finals 20 odd years straight . U’s r making think U r all idiots who don’t even watch the game. Brisbane finals 8 a handful of years ago an that’s is bad as it got. So keep dreaming loser

    • We made the finals every year from 91 till 09, missed in 10 and again in 13. So we’ve made the finals 27 out of 31 tines. Pretty solid if you ask me.

  6. Yeah sorry there sammy Brisbane is that consistent with making the finals i 4got 10 and 13 suppose that’s the reason for the 4getting but hit the nail on the head mate when you said pretty solid 27 out of 31 years. Now we have got rid of the dead wait in Bennett time 4 a another GF. So over the distraction that goes on between contract talks with players and the coaches something that needs to be done at the end of the year.
    Need 2 Swap coaches an stop disruption at both clubs and get on with it.

    • +1… Bennet makes us a top 4 contender, but Siebold makes us a genuine premiership threat…

  7. Now hold on there Sammy.
    That may well be true?
    Bennett may also take some players south with him. So it could take a few years to build up again, if quite a few players walk.

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