Bennett drops bomb on coaching sideshow
Wayne Bennett claims he's been given assurances by Brisbane he won't be sacked as coach and will remain at the helm for one final season in 2019.
Bennett, who has already signed to join South Sydney in 2020 in a swap with Anthony Seibold, reportedly met with Broncos bosses on Saturday morning to discuss his future.
The veteran coach has long insisted he wanted to spend one last year at Brisbane and even began pre-season training with the group.
He said on Saturday that would still be the case.
"I will be coaching the Broncos in 2019," Bennett told the Courier Mail. "I've met with the chairman and we are now on the same page. I won't be sacked, I've been given that assurance by Karl Morris.
"I've always intended on honouring my contract and I'm glad this all has been sorted. I'll be at the Broncos next season."
The news will shine a spotlight on the Rabbitohs with Seibold still contracted to remain at the club for next season.
There had been reports of the Souths coach falling out of favour with the playing group over his decision to leave, suggestions he has strongly denied on his return to pre-season training.
Earlier in the week, Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough urged the club to make a call on Bennett.
Bennett added to the entertainment value by side stepping awaiting media and then using decoy vehicles before hiding in the back of a car when leaving Broncos headquarters later in the afternoon.
The veteran Broncos mentor met with club chiefs for crunch talks thought to be aimed at facilitating his exit and triggering Anthony Seibold's immediate arrival from South Sydney.
Both coaches signed deals at their rival clubs last month with tenures set to begin in 2020.
But the unusual situation, which sparked fears over a conflict of interest, led to speculation an exchange could be struck as early as this week, enabling both men to move on 12 months ahead of schedule.
But Bennett quashed those rumours today.
McCullough said the playing group were operating under the assumption Bennett would remain but admitted he'd like some clarity.
"Yep," he said bluntly when asked if he wanted a quick resolution. "Everyone just needs to move forward in the right direction but in the time being Wayne's here and we're happy to get on with it.
"It's out of our control, what happens; there's plenty of big guys upstairs that can make the tough decisions.
"Yes (we're prepared to play under Seibold); it's the nature of the game if it comes to that." Bennett, who only returned home on Wednesday, has repeatedly stated he intends seeing out his Broncos contract.