Wayne Bennett takes swipe at Broncos after Dolphins unveiling

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Wayne Bennett, pictured here speaking to the media after being confirmed as Dolphins coach.
Wayne Bennett speaks to the media after being confirmed as Dolphins coach. Image: AAP

Wayne Bennett has managed to take a thinly-veiled swipe at the Brisbane Broncos in his first press conference at the Dolphins.

The NRL expansion outfit confirmed the worst-kept secret in rugby league when they announced Bennett as their inaugural head coach on Thursday.

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The only coach in history to take four different teams to a grand final, Bennett has signed a four-year deal with the Dolphins before their maiden campaign in 2023.

Bennett was Brisbane's foundation coach when the Broncos joined the NRL in 1988, leading the club to premiership glory in 1992 and spearheading them to six premierships in his 20-year stint before leaving Red Hill in 2008.

However the 71-year-old said the parallels between the two clubs couldn't be more stark heading into their first NRL campaigns.

"This is an established club," Bennett said of the Dolphins.

"And I recognise that it's my job to come in here and work within this framework.

"When we started in 1988 at the Broncos ... we had no club, we had no ground, we had virtually nothing.

"But it's a wonderful, wonderful facility here. Extremely well run, very successful. So it's a different context.

"The job's still the same but a different context."

Bennett, who coached the Dragons, Knights and Rabbitohs after leaving the Broncos, also took a jab the the Broncos' roster management.

“Go and have a look at the clubs I’ve coached and go and have a look at how many players I’ve taken from the club I left," he said when asked if he would target South Sydney's stars as recruits.

“If you look at South Sydney for example, Jaydn Su’A and Pat Mago were both cast out by the Broncos, the Broncos didn’t want them.

“Darius Boyd followed me for a decade because the Broncos didn’t want him. I have no history of taking major players from any club.”

Wayne Bennett, pictured here arriving at the Redcliffe Leagues Club.
Wayne Bennett arrives at the Redcliffe Leagues Club. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Queensland stars set to join the Dolphins?

The Dolphins can begin negotiations with players from November 1, with Queensland State of Origin stars Tino Fa'asuamaleui, Cameron Munster and Christian Welch among those who will be on the radar.

Bennett refused to discuss specific players but said securing top talent would be the priority.

"You've got a nine and a half million dollar salary cap," he said.

"You know you've got to get some marquee players, so that'll be our priority to get those and build the other players around them.

"One of the differences here in this situation - in '88 there was a lot of State of Origin players that were playing in Brisbane club football and number from this club, that came to the Broncos to start that.

"We don't have that luxury this time.

"They're all playing in the NRL now at clubs so we've got to work through that and come up with the best roster we possibly can."

with AAP

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