3 Feb 2016

Sport: Disappointment Wayne Bennett won't be helping the Pacific

1:16 pm on 3 February 2016

Kangaroos rugby league international Sam Thaiday thinks it's a shame that Wayne Bennett wont be coaching a Pacific Island nation.

The Brisbane Broncos mentor has been appointed England's new head coach until the end of next year's World Cup.

Wayne Bennett back in 2005 when he was the coach of Australia at a Kangaroos training session at the then-Ericsson Stadium, Auckland. Photo : Andrew Cornaga/PHOTOSPORT

Former Australia coach Wayne Bennett will take charge of England, not a Pacific team. Photo: Photosport

He replaces Steve McNamara and will continue to coach Broncos in the NRL.

The profile of the island regions have been on the rise since the annual Pacific Test programme was launched in 2013, featuring Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

PNG players at the Rugby League World Cup.

Papua New Guinea are on the lookout for a new coach. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Thaiday believes the concept would move ahead in leaps and bounds with Bennett involved and said he would like to have seen Bennett help a developing nation like Cook Islands or Vanuatu.

Bennett had been linked to the PNG role before receiving interest from England, having missed out to Mal Meninga for the Australian job.