Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett during a press conference.
Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett during a press conference. DAN PELED

Bennett still annoyed by process of selecting Roos coach

RUGBY LEAGUE: Wayne's world has plenty of room in it for Mal Meninga, but not much for the way Australian Rugby League Commission selected the Kangaroo coach or the media.

Wayne Bennett has tried to clear the air after a tumultuous tenure as England coach before Sunday's (midnight AEST) must-win Four Nations clash against Meninga's Australia in London.

Bennett claimed he had had peace talks with Meninga and they were still mates, but he wouldn't elaborate on the ARLC's selection process.

In the past the Broncos mentor has said the Kangaroos role didn't need to be a full-time job.

Meninga accused Bennett of undermining him and refusing to move on after missing out on the Kangaroos job.

Meninga wrote that he and Bennett are "not enemies, but we're not friends either”.

Bennett told Fox Sports he was still friends with Meninga but still seemed miffed with how the Roos job was appointed.

"In the end with the Roos job, where I was at a different place was the process they went through in the end, which I thought was - I have to be careful what type of word I use ... anyway when that was over I moved on,” he said.

"It (the Kangaroos process) is a story worth telling one day but I am not going to tell it today.”

In the interview Bennett was asked if he had undermined Meninga.

"No,” was the stern reply.

"I've got quite a good relationship with Mal, I spent some time with him yesterday - it's all good.

"I am not going further with the conversation here - it's not me or Mal.

"I have always been friends with him, nothing's changed from my point of view.”

Bennett also took another swing at media critics claiming he did not promote the game in England.

"I am just Wayne. I have been getting that criticism for some 38 years now,” he told Fox Sports.

Bennett's curt interviews have angered the UK press, with the England coach being accused of disrespect.

Bennett angrily reacted to the criticism.

"Don't accuse me of not promoting the game,” he said.

"I've spent a lifetime with my image and the way I've coached teams, things that I've done in the game.

"Everything's been about promoting the game. I don't want to be a headline. I don't want to be a front page. I don't want to be a back page. It doesn't interest me all that part of it.

"The best thing I can do is coach good and make you enjoy what you see on the football field.”


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