Respected rugby league great Phil Gould has weighed into debate around the future of Wayne Bennett, insisting he can’t see the Broncos coach still there next season.
Bennett was reportedly knocked back last week after approaching the Broncos board asking for an extension to his current deal (which ends after the 2019 season), suggesting the 2020 campaign could herald a new era for the team.
Part of Bennett’s pitch has reportedly focused around a succession plan that would see assistant coach Jason Demetriou eventually step in as coach.
Gould responded to those reports by saying Bennett’s time as Brisbane’s head coach appears to be over.
“I don’t know too many coaches who go to the board and tell them what’s going to happen in the future,” Gould said.
“It’s an interesting one. I still don’t think Wayne Bennett will be at the Broncos next year.”
Brisbane legend Tallis also believes time is running out for the master coach and that the Broncos board was well within its rights to rebuff him.
“You don’t extend coaches that far out,” the three-time Brisbane premiership player said at Fox League’s retro round launch on Tuesday.
“He’s not Payne Haas, he’s not 18.
“Everybody has a use-by date.
“I had it as a player at the age of 30. Some coaches have it earlier, some have it later.
“What he’s achieved has been unbelievable but, like players, you’d rather retire a year early than a year too late.
“And he’s given that advice to a lot of players.”
The Broncos are clearly planning for life without Bennett, who turns 69 next year, having tried and failed earlier this year to lure Craig Bellamy north from the Melbourne Storm.
One name that is continually being linked with the Broncos is first year coaching sensation, Anthony Seibold, whose stellar season with the Rabbitohs has put him in hot demand.
Curiously, Seibold grew up in Brisbane and has connections with the club through his playing days there.
More pertinently, the Rabbitohs boss is yet to discuss an extension to his current contract at the Bunnies that runs out at the end of next season – the same time Bennett’s deal is officially up.
“It’s going to be tough because of what he’s (Bennett’s) achieved in the game but if there’s someone better for the job… they’ve got to plan to move forward,” Tallis said.
“Craig Bellamy was better for the job. It’s simple as that.
“If they keep on winning, get to the finals and have a great year and next year (Bennett) coaches exactly the same, they’ve got a decision to make.
“But Wayne will make the right decision – maybe he’ll want to go live in England, he’s coaching their side now, or down in the south of France. Who knows?”