Wayne Bennett has used decoy cars to make a daring exit as the Broncos’ first day of pre-season training descended into farce.
Bennett will reportedly meet with Broncos’ chairman Karl Morris this weekend in a bid to finally end the saga surrounding his coaching swap with South Sydney mentor Andrew Seibold.
Bennett returned to Red Hill on Thursday to oversee players’ first official day back at training, but he is expected to be confirmed as the coach of South Sydney as early as next week.
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Bennett last month signed a two-year-deal at the Rabbitohs, beginning in 2020.
Seibold also signed a monster four-year deal with the Broncos, beginning in 2020.
According to reports, Bennett’s demand to be paid out the final year of his Broncos contract is the only thing holding up confirmation of an immediate swap ahead of the 2019 season.
Until then, Bennett has the club right where he wants them.
The farcical nature of Bennett’s current status as Broncos coach was painfully exposed on Thursday when he failed to step out onto the field during the team’s pre-season drills to watch his players.
The silliness continued at the end of the day when the 68-year-old successfully went to extraordinary lengths to avoid Brisbane media representatives camped out hoping to talk to the veteran mentor.
The crafty coach reportedly had decoy cars and tried to lie down in the back seat to avoid being snapped by the assembled cameras.
The Courier Mail’s Peter Badel described Bennett’s ongoing presence at the club as “madness”.
“It’s as clear as mud this whole circus,” Padel told Macquarie Sports Radio.
‘I was at Broncos training this morning. It was Wayne Bennett’s first day (back) at the club and such is the madness, and the circus going on, he didn’t even show his face. He didn’t appear at training to visit his players and watch them go through their paces.
“It’s quite unbelievable. My information is some talks will happen between Bennett and chairman Karl Morris by the weekend and don’t be surprised if this is all finalised this weekend.
“Souths are ready to let Seibold go. Wayne is the final impediment, but I think you’ll find Seibold will be announced as Brisbane’s coach before Christmas.”
He said Broncos assistant coach Jason Demetriou and Rabbitohs assistant coach Peer Gentle will also swap jobs.
It was left for Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough to try to bring some sense to the shenanigans at Red Hill on Thursday.
McCullough urged the club to make a call on Bennett sooner rather than later.
McCullough said the playing group were operating under the assumption Bennett would remain, but admitted he’d like some clarity.
“Yep,” he said bluntly when asked if he wanted a quick resolution. “Everyone just needs to move forward in the right direction but in the time being Wayne’s here and we’re happy to get on with it.
“It’s out of our control, what happens; there’s plenty of big guys upstairs that can make the tough decisions.
“Yes (we’re prepared to play under Seibold); it’s the nature of the game if it comes to that.” Bennett, who only returned to Australia on Wednesday, has repeatedly stated he intends seeing out his Broncos contract.
— with AAP