Bennett joins Sam Burgess in coaching box

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Wayne Bennett has made a surprise appearance in Sam Burgess' coaching box in Coffs Harbour, sparking speculation the South Sydney premiership hero could be headed to the Dolphins.

Bennett made the four-hour trip south from Brisbane to see Burgess' Orara Valley Axemen play Greg Inglis's Macksville side in the Group 2 match of the round on Sunday.

Inglis was absent due to Indigenous Round commitments, denying fans of a much-anticipated coaching showdown between the two former Rabbitohs teammates.

But that didn't stop Bennett from attending and watching on intently next to Burgess, who's making a successful transition to coaching at the Russell Crowe-backed club on the NSW mid north coast.

The Axemen are two from three after falling 26-10 to unbeaten Macksville, where Inglis also grew up playing as a junior.

Burgess has made no secret of his desire to one day coach in the NRL and Coramba Sports Ground was buzzing with talk the former England Test star could wind up at Redcliffe as one of Bennett's assistants for the Dolphins' 2023 debut.

"I'm really enjoying coaching, I feel like I'm making a difference," Burgess said last month.

"The guys here have been great as well so the end goal would be to get to the NRL but I understand that there's a bit of time between now and then and I'm just enjoying the process now here in the Valley."

Far from a low-key presence, super-coach Bennett happily posed for photos with Burgess after spending the entire game on the sidelines offering advice to his former Rabbitohs charge.

Burgess is also hoping to help England coach Shaun Wane at this year's World Cup in the UK.

"I've got an interest to coach with England," he told AAP during the pre-season.

"I'm good friends with Shaun and he's interested in having me around for the end of the year to do some of the defence stuff.

"It would be a good start, being on the England staff would be interesting because it's not a year-long thing."

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