NRL news: Wayne Bennett is definitely returning to Brisbane this year but won’t be going back to the Broncos
Super coach Wayne Bennett has ruled out a return to the Broncos, revealing he has received interest to coach Brisbane’s second NRL team from 2023.
Bennett’s future beyond this season has become a talking point after he announced he was leaving South Sydney at season’s end to return to Queensland.
The seven-time premiership winning mentor declared he is a “free agent” and open to all offers.
This includes a potential return to Brisbane, where he could reunite with his former captain turned Broncos coach, Kevin Walters.
But Bennett says he isn’t prepared to forgive, forget and return to Brisbane after being forced out of the Broncos during an ugly exit in 2018.
Asked if he would be happy to return to Red Hill, he replied: “No, I’ve moved on and that is where it is at.
“And that is where it could it stay as far as I’m concerned.
“I never think about it (the Broncos)- I’ve moved on.”
Bennett was happy to talk about his interest in coaching the second Brisbane team.
“I’ve had one phone call about the 17th team and a guy wanted to know if I was interested in coaching them,” he said.
“And I said at this point in time I would be if something becomes available.”
It comes as Brisbane officials feel Bennett will use the club as leverage to ensure he remains the first-choice for a new franchise in southeast Queensland from 2023.
The veteran mentor didn’t discuss this speculation, but confirmed he could still be involved in coaching next season to help the second Brisbane franchise prepare for its maiden season a year later.
“I may be employed in coaching still,” he said about coaching in 2022.
“If there is a new franchise they will be looking to buy players and have things to set up.”
Bennett had a simple answer when asked why he is interested in heading up a new franchise given his age and experience.
“I love what I do and I think I can make a contribution,” he said.
“But I’ll keep an eye on everything. I have no commitments to anyone.”
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