Gorden Tallis reveals Wayne Bennett overhaul at Souths that could spark NRL revival

Tallis has identified players that Bennett may target to turn Souths into premiership contenders once again.

Gorden Tallis believes Wayne Bennett will target a specific set of players if he takes over as head coach of the Rabbitohs in 2025. Bennett is widely tipped to sign a three-year deal with the Rabbitohs and will likely need somewhat of a roster overhaul if he is to turn the Bunnies into NRL premiership contenders once again.

Bennett has made it clear for his next deal that he doesn't want to be restricted time-wise like he was in his most recent coaching roles with Souths and the Dolphins. He reportedly wants a minimum of three years to chase his eighth premiership and won't sign unless he is given time to mould the team the way he wants, with the Rabbitohs understood to be open to such a contract.

Pictured Gorden Tallis left and Wayne Bennett right
Gorden Tallis says Wayne Bennett will go after "gritty players" to transform Souths into premiership contenders. Image: Getty

And Tallis is of the belief that Bennett will take over at Souths at the end of the season and make a play for players of a similar ilk to that of new Rabbitohs recruit Lewis Dodd. While Bennett insists he had no hand in the English halfback's signing, he will bring an attacking spark to a side that has lacked direction under Jason Demetriou's guidance in recent years.

When asked about how he believes Bennett will fix the Souths roster, Tallis - who played under Bennett for most of his career at Brisbane - told NRL 360: "Wayne will go get those gritty players, the Max Plath type of player."

"That is Wayne Bennett to a T. You watch when he went to the Dragons," he continued. "It was the Beau Scotts He will go find those workers because he knows he’s got the class to get them around. At the moment, Souths are lacking foot soldiers who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and do the tough stuff. Play for 80 minutes."

ST HELENS, ENGLAND - MARCH 08: Lewis Dodd of St.Helens celebrates after scoring his team's fourth try during the Betfred Super League match between St Helens and Salford Red Devils at Totally Wicked Stadium on March 08, 2024 in St Helens, England. (Photo by Jess Hornby/Getty Images)
St.Helens star Lewis Dodd will join the Rabbitohs from next season.

Bennett confirmed last week that he wants to coach again next season, with a Rabbitohs reunion looking more and more likely by the day after the club parted ways with Demetriou last week. Reports are that Souths are set to offer the master coach a three-year deal, with Bennett to return to the club he took to the grand final in 2021 before Demetriou took over.

"I made a statement the other day and nothing has changed since then. I spoke to them and they spoke to me,” Bennett said last week. "I’m going to be unemployed at the end of the year so there’s a job.

"I don’t know how long they want me for and I’ve had no conversation with them except they rang me up and spoke about an opportunity in the future. We’ll get our weekend football out of the way and we’ll talk next week."

Phil Rothfield told NRL360 that Souths are confident of getting the deal over the line. "I made a lot of calls today and one of them was Blake Solly,” Rothfield said.


"I’ve spoken to him a couple of times actually and just to check if Souths might be one of the clubs interested in David Fifita, he just texted me back and said no. Souths aren’t, which doesn’t surprise me because Wayne Bennett at Redcliffe Dolphins has had no interest in picking him up.

"I’m told Bennett’s deal is three years. He’s been offered. Blake sounds very, very relaxed about it in that he was not planning to fly to Brisbane with a contract. He said they will obviously meet in Magic Round when all the clubs are in Brisbane. Yeah, it confirmed three years and said they’ll be talking on the phone during the week."