'It's beyond me': PVL jabs Bennett's Kiwis job hopes

‘It’s beyond me’: PVL jabs Bennett’s Kiwis job hopes

ARLC chair Peter V’landys has responded to reports Wayne Bennett has applied for the vacant New Zealand head coaching role.

News Corp reports Bennett has formally applied for the role, and was awaiting an interview, with the NZRL hoping to fill the position by the end of February.

Speaking on The Rush Hour with Leisel Jones, Liam & Dobbo on Triple M in Brisbane, V’landys said why Bennett would want the gig was “beyond me”.

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“I don’t know why Wayne wants to get on a loser,” V’landys said jokingly.

“He’s normally a winning coach – why he would want to go and coach against Australia is beyond me.”

The Kiwis beat the Kangaroos 30-0 in the final of the Pacific Championship last year.

Bennett will hand over the Dolphins to Kristian Woolf at the end of the year, and does not have another role lined up for 2025.

The Kiwis role became vacant when Michael Maguire signed as New South Wales Origin coach.

Bennett is already in charge of several Kiwi guns, including the Bromwich brothers and 2023 NRL leading try-scorer Jamayne Isaako.

He also has a history of coaching New Zealand sides before. He coached the ‘All-Golds’ legends team against the Northern Union in 2007 – essentially a New Zealand v Great Britain veterans game to mark 100 years since the Kiwis first toured the UK.

New Zealand legends Nathan Cayless and Stacey Jones are also believed to have applied for the role.

Bennett told News Corp the ball was in NZRL’s hands.

“I’m waiting for them to come back to me,” he said.

“This doesn’t mean I’ve got the job – there will be other applicants – but the point is I have expressed interest. The NZRL know that, and they have a process going on, so I’m sure they will get back to me at some stage.

“I am waiting to see where it goes. I have been in contact with a guy to make it known I’m keen on the Kiwi job and let’s see what happens.

“I love a challenge.”

Should he get the role, his leaving the Dolphins would give him two years of clear air ahead of the 2026 World Cup.

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