21 May 2024

Veteran NRL coach Wayne Bennett returns to Rabbitohs

5:24 pm on 21 May 2024
Wayne Bennett will coach South Sydney Rabbitohs from 2020.

Wayne Bennett will coach South Sydney Rabbitohs from 2020. Photo: PHOTOSPORT LTD © www.photosport.co.nz 2014

Veteran Australian rugby league coach Wayne Bennett is returning to coach South Sydney in the NRL.

The 74-year-old coached the Rabbitohs from 2019 to 2021, taking them to the grand final in 2021.

Bennett is currently coaching the Queensland club side the Dolphins, who joined the NRL last year, but will return to the Redfern-based club from next year on a three year deal.

In 77 games at the helm for South Sydney, he had a 68 percent win ratio, the best of any club he has coached at.

The seven-time premiership winning coach is regarded as one of the greatest coaches of all time, having coached 924 premiership games and more than 1100 first-grade and representative games since the 1970s.

Bennett was the Brisbane Broncos' inaugural coach in 1988 and led them to six premierships (1992, '93, '97, '98, 2000, 2006) before winning another title with the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2010.

He coached Queensland to five series wins in the State of Origin, the most recent being in 2020, when he led an underdog Queensland side to a memorable 2-1 triumph.

"On behalf of the board of the Rabbitohs we look forward to welcoming Wayne back to the club, and to finishing off what we got so close to achieving in 2021," said Rabbitohs chairman Nick Pappas.

At international level he coached the Kangaroos in 1988 and 2004-05, Great Britain in 2019, England from 2016-19 and he was assistant coach to Stephen Kearney when New Zealand claimed World Cup glory in 2008.

In 2023 he took charge of the NRL's newest franchise the Dolphins.

The Dolphins are currently fourth on the ladder this season with 7-3 win-loss record.