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Wayne Bennett breaks the silence on South’s track

The stars appear to be aligning for a reunion between Wayne Bennett and South Sydney after the head coach broke his silence.

NRL: Blake Solly says the last 20 games for Souths speak for themselves in their decision to part ways with Jason Demetriou.

Demetriou was given his marching orders after two Rabbitohs board meetings, seemingly clearing the way for Bennett to return to the club.

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Bennett had coached South Sydney for three seasons between 2019 and 2021, where he guided the side to two preliminary finals and a grand final.

Demetriou was his assistant during those years and was appointed as the master coach’s successor.

But after falling from the top of the ladder in round 11 last season, missing the final and currently anchoring the ladder in 2024, Demetriou’s time was up.

The club installed Ben Hornby as interim coach for the remainder of the season, but the immediate suggestion was that Bennett would be the Rabbitohs’ best contender for the vacant role.

So it would be music to the club’s ears that the 74-year-old was just as eager for a reunion.

“Yes, I’m interested,” Bennett said, via The Daily Telegraph.

“They want to talk to me and I want to talk to them.

“Blake has since contacted me and told me he wants to talk to me at some point.

“He said they had some other coaches in mind.

‘The Rabbitohs know how I feel.

“They’ve said they want to talk to me, so that’s the next step. We’ll have a conversation somewhere down the road.”

Wayne Bennett will leave the Dolphins at the end of the season. Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Bennett is out of contract with the Dolphins at the end of the season and while officials are keen to keep Bennett on the books, the super coach has made it clear he would prefer to continue as head coach in the NRL.

“I want to continue coaching,” he said.

“I feel like I have more to offer, so I’m ready to see what’s out there.

“Of course I will consider other options.”

Bennett has also been linked with a role at the Parramatta Eels, although the Rabbitohs have moved first to bring the seven-time premiership winner back to the club.

South Sydney CEO Blake Solly confirmed Bennett’s approach but said it would be an “exhaustive” process to find the club’s next head coach.

“Wayne is one of the coaches we will be talking to,” Solly said Wednesday morning.

“Wayne had a lot of success, he left the club on very good terms. We will talk to Wayne and if he is available and interested, we will certainly make progress on that.

“I think we want someone who fits in with this great group and can get the best out of them. It is a unique customer group that we have been working with for a long time.

Wayne Bennett after the win over the Tigers. Photo: NRL Photos

“And we want, I think, a coach who can ensure that they consistently give their best, and we want, I think, a coach who understands the values, the heritage and the history of this club.

“We’ve got great skills, great athleticism and some great personalities and every head coach has to get the best out of them, whether it’s Ivan Cleary what he’s done over a long period at Penrith, Wayne, his track record with some of clubs.

“The best coaches always get the best out of their playing group.”

Club legend Sam Burgess has also been discussed as an option, but is in his rookie season as top coach at Super League club Warrington.

There have been suggestions that Bennett could sign a multi-year deal with the eventual plan to hand the squad to Burgess after his two-year deal with Warrington is up.