Wayne Bennett’s contract runs out after the World Cup. If he wants to bow out at the top, Leeds Rhinos and USA head coach Brian McDermott is ready for the job
A couple of days before playing in a World Cup semi-final, England know their fixtures for this time next year but are in the dark about who will be in charge of the team. Head coach Wayne Bennett’s contract runs out after the World Cup but, if he lifts the Paul Barrière Trophy in his home ground in Brisbane next Saturday, he might think it is the perfect ending. If England beat Tonga in their semi-final this weekend and then put in a valiant display in defeat to his native Australia in the final, he might just decide to stick around for another crack at a major series.
If the greatest Australian coach of all time does step aside after 20 months in charge, the most successful English coach of his generation is primed for the job. Bennett’s assistants, Denis Betts and Paul Anderson, may be hoping to step up when the time comes butLeeds Rhinos and USA coach Brian McDermott is ready. The World Cup has not gone as well for McDermott as it has for Bennett – USA were thrashed in all three of their matches and failed to score a point in two of them – but he says he has gained valuable experience from the tournament.