The NRL world has gone into overdrive after it was confirmed Wayne Bennett will make a stunning return to State of Origin after being named Queensland coach for the 2020 series.
The Maroons announced on Friday that Bennett would take over for the series after new Brisbane coach Kevin Walters was forced to step away from the job.
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With less than five weeks until the opening Origin clash in Adelaide, Bennett's experience under current NRL rules as South Sydney coach won him the role.
It has been 16 years since Bennett coached a Queensland side, but during his time he won five of seven series for the Maroons.
He also masterminded the first series clean sweep for the state in 1988.
Fans couldn’t believe Bennett took the gig on such a short turnaround.
Queensland is Wayne's World again. Wayne Bennett officially announced via press release as the new @QLDmaroons coach for the 2020 #stateoforigin series.— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottlieb) October 2, 2020
If Souths make the Grand Final Bennett will only have 10 days before Oct 25 day and Game I on Nov 4th. @9NewsQueensland
Wayne Bennett has beaten Mal Meninga to coach Queensland... a key reason - Bennett has coached under the new six again rules. QRL felt they needed a coach who understands the current rules. Appointment announced within days.— Chris Garry (@ChrisGarry7) September 30, 2020
1. Lockyer— bet365_aus (@bet365_aus) October 2, 2020
The last Origin side Wayne Bennett coached featured the debut of a certain Melbourne Storm hooker. pic.twitter.com/QQ5nr1E7JW
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His appointment leaves the door open for Queensland to appoint a coach with no NRL ties for 2021 and beyond.
"I love coaching Queensland and I'm extremely humbled to be invited to coach this team again, particularly in light of the challenging circumstances with Kevin moving on to coach the Broncos," Bennett said.
"I'm very proud and pleased that I'm still able to do it.
"State of Origin means so much to the people of Queensland.
"It's been a difficult year for many people and I just want to give something back if I can."
It comes two days before South Sydney are set to face Newcastle in an elimination final at ANZ Stadium.
Should the Rabbitohs make it all the way to the grand final on October 25, it will give Bennett just over a week to prepare the Maroons for game one of the three-week series that starts on November 4.