Bennett homecoming closer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bennett homecoming closer

By Wayne Heming 26/03/2011 03:47:50 PM Comments (0)

Rookie Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin pulled off the best victory of his brief NRL career on Friday night as news broke the Broncos had officially approached Wayne Bennett about a return to the club in 2012.

After weeks of speculation and rumours of secret meetings in Sydney with high powered News Limited heavies, Brisbane chief executive Paul White revealed he'd spoken to Bennett by telephone during the week about his plans for 2012 and beyond.

"I have now spoken to Wayne, and he has advised that he has not committed to a club for 2012 and beyond," White told News Limited.

There's a feeling Bennett could decide his future within the next few weeks rather than let the saga drag on and become a major distraction.

Bennett, who flew to New Zealand with St George Illawarra on Friday to play the Warriors on Saturday, is unlikely to want speculation drag on any longer than necessary with the Dragons looking to go back-to-back after winning the 2010 premiership and world club championship double.

South Sydney co-owner Russell Crowe is known to have a million dollar cheque with Bennett's name on it.

The spanner in the works could be flamboyant multi-millionaire Newcastle Knights' benefactor Nathan Tinkler who is understood to have a "name your own price" contract waiting for Bennett's signature.

However, Newcastle would want Bennett to agree to a multi-year deal which would keep him away from his family, who still live in Brisbane.

The 60-year-old, who delivered the Dragons' their much-craved premiership last year, wants to be reunited with his wife Trish and his children.

He's spent the last three seasons living in Wollongong, squeezing in visits back home to see his family in between training sessions and games for 10 months of the year.

Griffin, appointed a month out from the start of the season, has done a superb job with a young Broncos side who could easily have started 2011 with three successive wins.

He'd be tempted to serve time under Bennett until a better offer came along.

After dropping a tight opening clash 16-14 to the Cowboys, Griffin has enjoyed a good start to his NRL debut with tough victories over Canberra and Friday night's gritty 14-8 win over the Gold Coast.

It's been reported Henjak's demise was all part of a masterplan to clear the way for Bennett to return to Brisbane where he won six premierships before falling out with some of the club's administration and board members and leaving in 2008.

With White, a close friend through their time together in the police force, acting on the board's wishes and his former right-hand man Andrew Gee, running the club's operations, it's a lot more appealing for Bennett to return to Red Hill.

The club has assembled a wealth of talented young players who under Bennett could deliver champion five-eighth Darren Lockyer a farewell premiership in 2012 if it all comes to together.

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