Brisbane champion Shane Webcke says if Wayne Bennett returns to the Broncos it would be with the NRL club’s long-term interests at heart.
Brisbane great Shane Webcke says if Wayne Bennett returned to the Broncos, he would help the NRL club set up its future.
Bennett’s parting with the Broncos in 2008 wasn’t entirely amicable, but Webcke is confident that wouldn’t be the case if there was to be a second coming.
The 64-year-old Bennett said last week when announcing he was quitting Newcastle at the end of the season that he didn’t feel he could commit to the amount of time it would take the Knights to rebuild.
That indicates he won’t be signing anything longer than a three-year deal for what will likely be the final coaching posting in an illustrious career.
It’s fair to say the Broncos would be wary about being left in the lurch again.
Former captain Gorden Tallis wrote a column for News Corp saying it would be a mistake for the club to go back to the man who left them.
“You don’t go back to an ex-wife or ex-partner. You left for a reason in the first place,” Tallis wrote.
Webcke admits the issue is complex for both parties and believes it’s a “long shot” that Bennett would return.
But the champion front rower says if the six-time Broncos premiership winning coach did come back it would be with the club’s long-term interests at heart.
“I know him well enough to know that he does care and always has,” Webcke said.
“It doesn’t matter he went and coached elsewhere … I think his heart will always be at the Broncs.
“If we all look back at how it happened at the Broncs and everyone it involved (when Bennett left in ’08), it’d be difficult to argue there wouldn’t have been a better course of action than the way he did leave.
“But who knows the ins and outs of all that.
“He’s not going to coach until he’s 90.
“He knows the day’s going to come and I’d be very surprised if that wasn’t in his thinking if he was to come back to make some sort of plan for the future and to ensure the longevity of the place … help us transition into a new coach.”
Webcke still works with the Broncos on a corporate level and says he has a lot of respect for current coach Anthony Griffin.
But he says Griffin is as aware as anyone that coaching is results driven.
“Having played every bit of my football there under him (Bennett) I think it’d be a wonderful thing,” Webcke said.
“But that doesn’t mean I think anything less of Anthony Griffin. Under fairly difficult circumstances Hook’s done a fair job.
“It’s a really complicated issue. Revisiting old ground isn’t something Wayne’s done a lot of.
“We probably haven’t been where we want to be since Wayne left … but do you fix that by bringing Wayne back and trying to do it all over again when he retires?”