Gould’s stunning Bennett prediction
THE Broncos' interest in Rabbitohs coach Anthony Seibold has reportedly firmed with the club's board shutting down the veteran coach's succession plan proposal.
Reports of Brisbane's firming interest in the Bunnies' mentor comes as rugby league guru Phil Gould declared on Monday night that he still doesn't believe Bennett will coach the Broncos beyond 2018.
In the face of the Broncos' massive play for Storm coach Craig Bellamy earlier this season, chief executive Paul White vehemently declared Bennett will see out his contract through to the end of the 2019 season.
Bennett has since reportedly delivered a proposal to the club's board of directors where he outlined his succession plan for assistant coach Jason Demetriou to eventually step in as coach.
However, according to Channel 9's Neil Breen, the Broncos have identified Seibold as their prime target.
Seibold, who has transformed South Sydney into a premiership threat in his rookie coaching season, remains contracted to the Bunnies until the end of 2019 and has previously declared he will not entertain contract extension discussions with Souths until the end of the season.
Breen told Nine's 100% Footy on Monday night Seibold is holding all the cards when it comes to negotiating his next contract.
"The Broncos have got their sights on Anthony Seibold," Breen said.
"Seibold has got connections with them. He played for them as a young man. He's from Brisbane, he was from Rockhampton originally.
"Definitely there won't be an extension and the Wayne Bennett era will be over.
"Seibold's off contract at the end of 2019 at the Rabbitohs so the symmetry is there.
"Seibold's been asked about signing an extension at the Rabbitohs and he's quite smartly been saying there'll be no talks about anything until this season's done, I have to concentrate on this season. But he's the guy holding all the cards."
Gould responded to the report by saying Bennett's time as Brisbane's head coach appears to be over.
"I don't know too many coaches who go to the board and tell them what's going to happen in the future," Gould said.
"It's an interesting one. I still don't think Wayne Bennett will be at the Broncos next year."
It follows a report Bennett recently went to the Broncos' board and outlined his case for a one-season contract extension to take him through to the end of the 2020 season. This was reportedly knocked back.
The board's vision for the future may also not include club legend and Maroons State of Origin coach Kevin Walters.
Bennett's succession plan proposal overlooked Walters, despite the popular coach reportedly coveting the Broncos head coaching position.
Breen said on Monday the Broncos' interest in Seibold is a hammer blow to Walters' chances.
"It absolutely spells the end for Kevvy Walters. He won't be getting that job," Breen said.
Breen also said Bennett has been trying to establish himself as a critical figure in the development of Brisbane's impressive crop of emerging talents.
Breen said the 68-year-old coach may be trying to show the board he is the perfect coach to help bring through the club's talented young squad, which includes star forwards Payne Haas, David Fifita, Tevita Pangai Junior and Jaydn Su'A.
Bennett earlier this year declared Brisbane's emerging crop of stars is the best he has ever seen come through the club at the same time.
He also said Haas knocked back richer offers before re-signing with the Broncos on a six-year deal reported to be worth $3.5 million.
Bennett admitted he once claimed he would never pay more than $300,000 a year for a forward.
But the Brisbane mentor believed Haas was a special exception, comparing the towering teen with the likes of the NRL club's greats Darren Lockyer and Karmichael Hunt.
Bennett reckoned Haas took less money than the lucrative rival offers on the table.
"I don't think anyone realises our offer was small compared to other clubs," he said.
"Well maybe not small but not as high as other clubs that offered.
"He is a player in great demand. We see a long-term future for him here.
"I don't think he (Haas) was always a Broncos supporter as a kid growing up but he's here and wants to stay here."
Bennett was confident off-contract forwards Tevita Pangai, Matt Lodge and Su'A would follow Haas' lead.
- with AAP