Tinkler gets Bennett, misses Idris - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tinkler gets Bennett, misses Idris

By Steve Jancetic and Greg Danvers 12/04/2011 06:40:21 PM Comments (0)

New Knights owner Nathan Tinkler made good on his pledge to deliver NRL master coach Wayne Bennett but it didn't take long for the first cracks in his Newcastle revolution to appear.

Less than an hour after announcing they had secured the seven-time premiership winner on a four-year deal, Tinkler and the Knights learned they had been rejected by Canterbury sensation Jamal Idris - who opted to take up a lucrative five-year deal with Gold Coast.

The failed Idris bid came on the back of speculation Tinkler's $400,000-a-year bid for NSW Origin prop Kade Snowden would be scuttled by Bennett, renowned for his dislike of paying top dollar for forwards.

Then came current coach Rick Stone's admission that he wasn't convinced another apprenticeship under Bennett was in his best interests, with the 44-year-old toying with the idea of exploring his options.

"I consider myself a head coach in the NRL," Stone said as he arrived home from Monday night's 17-6 loss to Brisbane, the Knights' third straight defeat.

"I may or may not have that opportunity in the near future but I suppose I'll have to wait and sit down, weigh up my options and have a talk to Wayne and see what's best for myself and my staff.

"No one can understate Wayne Bennett's credentials - he's a multi-premiership winning coach and he's going to bring plenty to our club - it's an exciting time for Newcastle and the Newcastle club.

"I've got to sort out what's best for myself and my family first and foremost."

Just what options are available to Stone are not quite clear, with South Sydney - the job Bennett rejected - the only club with a definite opening for 2012.

Rabbitohs coach Shane Richardson declined to comment on the snubbing, or speculation linking Stone, former Warriors and Parramatta coach Daniel Anderson or ex-Test and current NSW Origin mentor Ricky Stuart with a move to Redfern.

"I've got no comment to make - I've been consistent all the way along the line and I'm not about to change now," Richardson told AAP.

Idris claimed he made his decision before learning of Bennett's move but the Bulldogs star said it would have mattered little.

"Obviously he's a great coach but at the end of the day I have to do what's best for me and that was Gold Coast," Idris said.

While doubts surround Stone's Newcastle future and the final composition of Bennett's 2012 roster - which is almost certain to include Dragons fullback Darius Boyd - there was little doubt this was a day to rejoice for Knights supporters and Tinkler.

"I think he was pretty excited and so he should be," Stone said of Tinkler's mood when the billionaire mining magnate confirmed Bennett's signing.

"It's a bit of coup luring Wayne Bennett to Newcastle.

"Two or three years ago trying to get Wayne Bennett to Newcastle to coach would have been a fair way away ... he's got his man."

While a rumoured $2 million-a-year deal no doubt helped sway his thinking, Bennett claimed a desire to work with a man with Tinkler's vision and passion was crucial to his decision to head up the F3.

"I sat down with Nathan (Tinkler) and was struck by his passion and knowledge of rugby league," Bennett said.

"This guy wants to take Newcastle to another level ... that is the type of challenge that appeals to me."

The move will also present Bennett with the opportunity to become the first coach to win premierships with three different clubs, having won six titles with Brisbane and one with the Dragons.

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