Australian coaches Wayne Bennett and Mal Meninga will collide this Monday morning when the Kangaroos tackle England in a Four Nations bout at London Stadium.
The furor between the two Queensland coaches started with an article published by media outlining that Meninga said Bennett is not coaching the way he used to.
“When Wayne says he doesn’t want my job, or that we are friends who will embrace after a game, it is just not true.
“I’m a man of my own convictions. I’m not looking for approval from Wayne, nor am I trying to impress him. He’s not my mentor. I don’t care what he thinks about the job that I do or the results I achieve.
“We’re not enemies, but we’re not friends either. There’s no bad blood – there’s just no blood at all. There is no relationship there.”
Bennett has been outspoken with the media saying in a press conference, “the end result of what we all do is how the team performs on the football field. I’m a football coach, that’s what I am. My job is to get the best out of those players and my job is to give you the best entertainment I possibly can.
“When that’s in place, what you say away from the game is really immaterial. That’s been my philosophy all my coaching life.
“I know the teams that I coach – if they play well and everybody enjoys the way they play, then we won’t have a shortage of fans and people interested in what they’re doing.”
Bennett started his coaching career in 1977 and has a total of seven NRL premierships to his name. The match starts at 1am and will be broadcasted on Gem.
Bulldogs captain James Graham will make his return to the English side while Cooper Cronk will return for the Australians after he was rested last week. – Jesse Mullens
Photo of Wayne Bennett from the England RL Facebook page.