Former Queensland Maroons and England rugby union representative Ben Te'o is taking advice from the best coaching minds in two codes as he takes the next step towards becoming a head coach in the NRL.
The 35-year-old will be head coach of the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Queensland Cup next year and work with Dolphins NRL coach Wayne Bennett as a transitional coach assisting young players in the squad.
Te'o has turned to Bennett, his former South Sydney coach Michael Maguire and former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, now coaching the Argentinian rugby team and Lebanon at the Rugby League World Cup, for advice and guidance as he works his way towards becoming an NRL head coach.
Teo won the 2014 NRL premiership under Maguire, a coach he said took him places physically and mentally he never thought he could go.
"I learned a lot from Madge (Maguire) and I still pick up the phone and talk to him," Te'o told AAP.
"I also ring Michael Cheika. He is a really interesting guy and a coach I would have loved to have played for. He has got something special about him.
"I want to coach in the NRL and provide a really good environment for players by taking all the good things I have learned to give the players a good experience and help them win and grow."
Te'o coached the Redcliffe colts to the statewide grand final this year after being advised by Maguire and Bennett to start from the ground up and take control of his own side rather than taking the easier route of coming through the assistant NRL coach ranks.
"Wayne came out to a few of my sessions and would critique me but he assisted me more with the conversations outside of footy," Te'o said.
"We would talk about players, how they were going and what kind of things to try if they were out of form.
"He is pretty blunt and honest. He makes you realise that footy is not that hard. You can either complicate it or get straight to the point and fix what's wrong."
Te'o said he learned from Bennett that sometimes fixing what is wrong can be uncomfortable for a coach.
"That can be having a tough conversation with a player, giving them honest feedback, dropping them or really working them hard.
"Everyone wants to be the nice guy but you have to do what you have to do to get the win, and then the player appreciates it after.
"I have had some of the best coaches in my career. I want to put it all together in the one setup and throw my own flavour in too."