Wayne Bennett looks set to continue as England’s head coach beyond the 2017 Rugby League World Cup after outlining future plans for the national team.
The 67-year-old’s two-year contract expires at the end of the season, but Bennett has revealed plans to take England to face New Zealand in an annual mid-season Test beginning next year.
“I think the mid-year Test will be a help to us because we play more games as an international team,” said Bennett.
“Australia get a huge advantage through the Origin, New Zealand get an advantage because they have been playing the mid-year Tests against Australia on a regular basis and England have got to start to do more of that.”
Bennett admitted he was pleased with England’s recent victory over Samoa and believes the performance showed they will be competitive at the World Cup.
“It will be a much stronger World Cup than 2008 was,” added Bennett. “England was quite a successful World Cup (in 2013) and this one will be the most successful World Cup. We believe that.
“I think when you get to the semi-final stage, if Australia, New Zealand and England are in the semi-finals, I think the other nation will be quite a challenge because they will have played in a quality competition and they will have to be pretty much at the top of their game as well to get to the semi-final stage.”