Souths hopeful Bennett-Seibold swap will be sorted by Thursday
Advertisement

Souths hopeful Bennett-Seibold swap will be sorted by Thursday

The Wayne Bennett and Anthony Seibold coaching soap opera will continue for at least another 72 hours as South Sydney await an official answer from the supercoach.

Just when the off-season storyline of the NRL season looked finally over after a Saturday morning coffee date between Bennett and Broncos chairman Karl Morris, Fairfax Media has learned Souths remain hopeful the swap deal will proceed and Bennett will be in charge at Redfern from next Monday as originally planned.

Standing firm: Wayne Bennett could still end up at Souths this season if talks go to plan.

Standing firm: Wayne Bennett could still end up at Souths this season if talks go to plan.Credit:Dan Peled

They are hoping Bennett will make a call by Thursday once and for all.

It's understood Seibold has been instructed by Souths to not comment publicly and he still has his heart set on an immediate move to Red Hill.

Advertisement

Should the swap deal for some reason fall over, Souths are confident Seibold has the support of the players and there will be no need to appoint a caretaker coach for 2019.

Loading

Seibold and Bennett, who are understood to have a testy relationship because of the drawn-out and negotiations between their respective clubs, will come face to face for the first time later this week at League Central for a coach's conference.

Ironically, one of the topics on the agenda will be regulating contracts and whether clubs should be punished for poaching rival coaches early.

Souths will know by then who will be their coach for 2019, an answer they need so they can continue effectively planning the pre-season.

One reason they have been patient until this point is the fact that none of their senior players have returned for training yet.

The bulk of their big guns are due back next Monday, which was meant to be Bennett's first day in charge.

Bennett and Morris's coffee date caught Souths off-guard, but Bennett has since made a point of reaching out to the Sydney club.

The scenes last week in Brisbane were farcical, with plenty of fans of Brisbane and Souths convinced it has become a case of a coach not wanting to be seen bailing early on his players, nor a club being blamed for pulling the trigger on a seven-time premiership-winning coach.

Seibold is keen to take the team back to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, something he enjoyed last pre-season, while Bennett has his own ideas about a camp elsewhere for Souths.

Stalemate: Anthony Seibold is still waiting to know where he'll be coaching next season.

Stalemate: Anthony Seibold is still waiting to know where he'll be coaching next season.Credit:AAP

Bennett told The Sun-Herald he was never chasing a payout from Brisbane and was glad he had clarity after the Morris meeting.

"I don’t want a payout – I just want to finish my last year at the Broncos," Bennett said. "That’s never come out of my mouth, it’s never entered my thought process.

"[Morris] said I was coaching the Broncos until the end of 2019, so that’s good. He reaffirmed I would be here until the end of 2019, which is what I needed to hear. The players needed to hear that. We can all get on with it. [My position] hasn’t changed. I’m really pleased. There is some clarity now and we can all move forward."

Bennett will most likely be accompanied by his assistant Jason Demetriou should the swap be given the green light, while Souths assistant Peter Gentle will be given Souths blessing to follow Seibold north at short notice.

The likes of Tom Burgess were still holidaying on the other side of the world over the weekend after he remained behind after England's Test series win over New Zealand, which was orchestrated by Bennett.

As for the coach's conference, Greenberg quipped a few weeks ago: "It's always an interesting day with the 16 coaches, and it is fair to say I get a bit of feedback at that meeting.''

Newly-appointed Wests Tigers coach Michael Maguire, returning Manly favourite son Des Hasler and Penrith's Ivan Cleary are also expected to be in attendance for the first time in their new roles.

Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Most Viewed in Sport

Loading
Advertisement