Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett will coach his 800th game this week.
Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett will coach his 800th game this week. DAVE HUNT

Wayne Bennett speaks ahead of 800th game

ON the eve of his record breaking 800th game as an NRL coach, Wayne Bennett has sat down with Fox League's Mick Ennis for an exclusive one-on-one interview.

The interview which will air on Fox League tonight (Thursday May 23) at 7pm, delves into what inspires Bennett as a coach and what motivates him to striving to succeed after 31 years in the top grade.

"I've never coached for the publicity, I've never coach for all the stuff that's happened to me in my life. I coach the game because I love it," Bennett said.

"I want to be around young men and help them be better, that's been my whole motivation.

"The other part of the game I love is the fans. The fans have been everything to me in the game and I coach for the fans. I coach so that they can love the game like I love the game."

Bennett has been around rugby league longer than most and has seen the sport evolve throughout the years, but the master coach says there's one thing about the game that has never changed.

"I want people to understand what great men play this game," he said.

"All the influencers in my life have been rugby league men and the guy I am today is because of that. I've seen what it's (rugby league) done to so many people and I've seen what a game changer it's been for guy's behavior and a whole lot of stuff."

 

Bennett with Cam Smith ahead of his Origin debut in 2004. (Glenn Barnes)
Bennett with Cam Smith ahead of his Origin debut in 2004. (Glenn Barnes)

 

For the first time in Bennett's coaching career his tenure as head coach of the Broncos has been brought into question, but in one of his most honest and raw interviews, Bennett has told Ennis that he has no thoughts about retiring.

"I'll stay in the game. I can't not be in the game, it's just who I am. It's like having breakfast. It's part of my DNA," he said.

Ennis, who played under Bennett during his three season at the Broncos, says it was a privilege to sit down with his former mentor on the eve of his 800th game.

"To be able sit down with arguably the greatest coach of all time and reflect on his 800 games, and what an achievement that is, and to see him be as relaxed and open and insightful as he was tremendous.

 

Bennett isn’t going anywhere just yet. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Bennett isn’t going anywhere just yet. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

 

"Wayne's greatest strength as a coach is he's wonderful knack to understand that not everyone in the team shares or needs to share the same interests or get along away from the field, but he made sure you knew that when you pulled on that jersey, you didn't let your team mates down and you didn't let the jersey down.

"The greatest thing I took away from Wayne as coach is that he made me feel really comfortable with the person I am and he provided great guidance in life as well as football.

"He just cares about his players, not just on the field but off the field as well. He cares about what you're doing and makes sure that you get the balance between football and family right.

"Wayne cares about the club as well. You won't meet anyone who cares more about the club they're coaching than Wayne Bennett."

Wayne Bennett 800 will screen on exclusively on FOX LEAGUE tonight (Thursday May 23) at 7pm.

News Corp Australia


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