Wayne Bennett.
Wayne Bennett.

Buzz: Bennett no longer has absolute power

appears to have lost some of his power and influence.

The move to the South Sydney Rabbitohs for next year is proof of that.

The fact he arrived at Redfern on his own and wasn't allowed to bring his support staff from the Brisbane Broncos was a huge surprise.

Jack Gibson, the greatest rugby league coach of all time, would never have copped that.

From the Roosters to St George, Newtown, Souths, Parramatta and Cronulla it was always a package deal or nothing. It was non-negotiable.

You didn't just hire Jack, you hired his team.

Ron Massey, Alf Richards, Mick Souter and the big guy himself. Jack put a lot of his success down to the fact he had the best support staff.

His sides were not always the most skilful but always the best prepared.

Which brings us back to Souths. One of the most fascinating stories of next year will be Bennett's relationship with the club's head of football, Shane Richardson. Both like to be the boss.


Shane Richardson likes being in charge. Picture: John Grainger
Shane Richardson likes being in charge. Picture: John Grainger

Up until this year, Bennett had total control at the Broncos. The same at Newcastle and St George Illawarra.

There was no one like Richardson around. No one to challenge him.

The fact he couldn't even bring his former ­assistant Jason Demetriou to replace David Furner as South Sydney's assistant coach was a major shock.

What Wayne normally wants, Wayne gets.

It was all smiles and everything went super smoothly at his first press conference last week. Whether that changes under the grind of week-to-week pressure next year remains to be seen.



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