Wayne Bennett is in the dark over the future of his England coaching career. Picture: Getty Images
Wayne Bennett is in the dark over the future of his England coaching career. Picture: Getty Images

Bennett’s Brexit? Coach in dark over England future

Wayne Bennett has been left in the dark over the future of his England coaching career after reports emerged he could be replaced as early as this week.

According to the UK's The Sun newspaper, former Wigan coach Shaun Wane is set to take the reins of England - with an announcement likely to be made in the coming days.

It comes after a wide-ranging review of the Lions squad was launched last year in a bid to explain their disappointing tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in November.

The Lions suffered four consecutive losses to Tonga, New Zealand (twice) and PNG, sparking criticism of both Bennett and the playing group.

The winless tour caused concern for the English rugby league bosses, who are keen to put together a winning team for next year's World Cup on their home soil.

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New Zealand’s Joseph Manu scores a try against Great Britain in Christchurch last November. Picture: Getty Images
New Zealand’s Joseph Manu scores a try against Great Britain in Christchurch last November. Picture: Getty Images

 

Bennett's tenure with the Rugby Football League ran up just weeks after last year's tour and the 70-year-old expressed his desire to continue coaching through until the 2021 World Cup.

The NRL master coach was unaware of weekend reports that he could be replaced as early as this week.

"I haven't heard anything as of yet," Bennett said.

"I said at the end of last year that I would have been happy to keep coaching England."

 

Wayne Bennett is in the dark over the future of his England coaching career. Picture: Getty Images
Wayne Bennett is in the dark over the future of his England coaching career. Picture: Getty Images

 

His reported successor Wane was one of the leading contenders to take over from him, while Castleford Tigers coach Daryl Powell and Salford's Ian Watson were also believed to be in the mix.

The 55-year-old Englishman led Wigan to three Super League grand finals between 2011 and 2018 as well as a Challenge Cup and World Cup Challenge title in 2017.

He played for Great Britain twice in the mid-1980s and has been with the Scottish Rugby Union as a high performance coach since 2018.

It now leaves Bennett with the sole focus of coaching Souths in the NRL season.