South Sydney Rabbitohs interest in Wayne Bennett, three-year deal, offer, Jason Demetriou, press conference, rugby league news

Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett spoke at a fun and interesting press conference on Friday morning in the wake of reports the Rabbitohs will offer the super-coach a three-year deal starting in 2025.

Bennett told reporters that “nothing has changed” regarding his interest in re-linking with the Rabbitohs, and that he will meet the Southern powerbrokers next week to discuss a potential deal.

When pressed by a reporter about the offer that was on the table, Bennett responded, implying that he had not received any offers.

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“Listen to my conversation. Have I said this? When did you receive the offer from them? I said we won’t talk until next week,” Bennett said.

“I made a statement the other day. Nothing has changed there.”

Bennett was asked why he was interested in taking the Souths job and returning to the team he coached from 2019 to 2021.

“Well, I’m going to be unemployed. I need a job,” Bennett joked, referencing the fact that his contract with the Dolphins ends after this season.

“I don’t know why they love me. We talked about an opportunity in the future and said we would spend our football weekend and talk next week. We don’t have to arrive next week.

“I like their brand, I like them. “I’ve worked with them, I can relate to everyone there, it’s an iconic club and I just like the atmosphere there.”

At the wide-ranging press conference, Bennett was asked what motivated him to continue training at age 74 and older.

“I enjoy it and it gives me something to do. “I didn’t want to stay home twiddling my thumbs and heating myself to death,” she responded.

“If I didn’t think I had something to offer and I didn’t want to do it, I wouldn’t do it, I don’t have to do it. But it’s not my case.

“I’d rather be doing something than not doing it and making a contribution. I care enormously about the game. And there are people, if I can go and help a club and improve it, that’s what motivates me and drives me.”

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On Tuesday night, after weeks of speculation, the Rabbitohs parted ways with Jason Demetriou after a two-odd year reign as the club’s head coach.

Demetriou worked with Bennett before being handed the keys when the legendary coach left at the end of 2021.

Bennett believes his former protégé “can coach” and noted Demetriou still has a bright future ahead of him in the NRL as a coach.

“I still believe him as a coach. “I know he can train, but something went wrong there and I’m not sure what it is, I haven’t asked many questions and I don’t intend to at this time,” Bennett said.

“But training is hard work. There are things that happen and I have been lucky. It’s only happened to me once, it happens more or less and you just get along with your life. It doesn’t make you a bad person.

“He is a good man and has a future in rugby league.”

Bennett was then asked about why the teams he coached in the past seemed to fail shortly after his departure.

“Well, that’s not my fault,” he replied.

Wayne Bennett faced the media in a tense press conference Friday morning.Source: FOX SPORTS

The Rabbitohs will reportedly sign St Helens halfback Lewis Dodd to a three-year contract starting in 2025.

There was a loud whisper that Bennett was consulted about signing Dodd, but he wouldn’t have any of it when questioned about the running back.

“I don’t know anything about him. I know nothing. I don’t know anything about him,” Bennett exclaimed.

“I don’t know what to think about Dodd, so how can I think of anything about it? I never met Dodd. I’ve never seen him play. I don’t remember seeing him play. So I had nothing to do with it.

“I also heard the CEO (Blake Solly) say it was the decision of the retention committee, which included the head coach at the time, which was Jason. So that’s what they’ve done.

“I don’t have a problem with what they’ve done, I just don’t know anything about that guy.”