Wayne Bennett breaks silence over heading back to Broncos

Wayne Bennett is officially Brisbane bound.
Wayne Bennett is officially Brisbane bound.

Departing Knights coach Wayne Bennett has thanked the Brisbane Broncos for the chance to come home.

The Broncos announced on Monday that Bennett, their foundation coach and the mastermind of the club's six grand final wins between 1992 and 2006, would replace Anthony Griffin next year.

Bennett had been courted by St George Illawarra, his other former club, and had reportedly all but agreed to terms to return to the Dragons.

But in a statement issued on Tuesday morning, Bennett explained the Broncos approached him with an offer too good to refuse. 

Bennett became a free agent for 2015 when he announced on July 10 that he would not be returning to Newcastle next year.

"As I was deciding on my future, the Brisbane Broncos weren't in the equation until the board recently contacted me," Bennett said.

"I never thought I would be presented with the opportunity to return home and I appreciate the confidence the board and owners have shown in me.

"I am also extremely humbled by the coaching offers I received. 

"There has been much speculation and untruths written since I announced I was departing the Newcastle Knights. 

"I look forward to a successful relationship with (Brisbane) CEO Paul White and continuing to grow and strengthen the Broncos' brand when I join the club for season 2015."

Bennett reiterated comments he made in the Newcastle Herald on Tuesday, that he was determined to see out the rest of this season at the Knights despite calls for him to step aside immediately and allow a caretaker coach such as Knights assistant and former coach Rick Stone to take the reins. 

"When I announced I was leaving Newcastle at season’s end, I stated I was committed to the club and nothing has changed. 

"I will be making no further comment in relation to my future until season 2014 has concluded for both the Knights and Broncos." 

Bennett has reportedly agreed to a $4millions three-year deal to return to the Broncos, who he coached for 21 seasons from their 1988 foundation year until 2008, when he left to join the Dragons.

He led St George Illawarra to a maiden premiership in 2010 then left at the end of 2011 to join the Knights for what has proven to be a tumultuous three-year tenure in the Hunter.


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