Australian Rugby League Commission boss Peter V’Landys has taken a jab at Wayne Bennett’s interest in succeeding Michael Maguire as Kiwis coach.
Speaking to radio show The Rush Hour with Leisel Jones, Liam & Dobbo on Triple M, V’landys said he didn’t know why Bennett would want to be a “loser”.
“I don’t know why Wayne wants to get on a loser,” V’landys said jokingly.
“He’s normally a winning coach - why he would want to go and coach against Australia is beyond me.”
The Australian team he is referring to, the Kangaroos, were beaten 30-0 by the Maguire-coached Kiwis in the Pacific Championship last year.
New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) were quick to remind V’Landys of that fact and manufactured a slam-dunk response on X, formerly Twitter.
The Kiwis role became vacant when Maguire signed on as New South Wales Origin coach and the NZRL deemed it incompatible for him to hold both positions.
Bennett is in charge of a number of Kiwis stars already, including the Bromwich brothers and the NRL’s 2023 leading try-scorer Jamayne Isaako, in his current role as Redcliffe Dolphins coach.
He is also no stranger to the Kiwis environment and no stranger to achieving success there - he was a key element in New Zealand’s shock World Cup win in 2008.
Bennett is to hand over the reins at the Dolphins to Kristian Woolf at the end of the year, and does not have another role lined up.
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