Wayne Bennett’s fairytale return to coach Brisbane will not be a reality until 2013 at least, after the Broncos appointed Anthony Griffin to the role.
Griffin has signed a deal to coach the club for the next two seasons, after Bennett told Broncos bosses he would instead be ‘pursuing other options’.
Griffin, who took charge after Ivan Henjak’s sacking earlier this year, has led the Broncos to the top of the NRL table after three successive wins.
Broncos chief executive Paul White said: “Anthony has served a long and distinguished apprenticeship in both the NRL and the Queensland Cup and has also made a strong impression in guiding the Broncos to a good start this season.
“He has impressed greatly with his man management skills, his strategic thinking and his technical capabilities; he is a coach that players want to play for.
Speculation of a high-profile return by Bennett had been rife after the former Australia coach confirmed he would be leaving his position at St George at the end of the season.
But Griffin’s appointment marks an end discussions with Bennett according to White.
He added: “We met with him last night and he confirmed that he wants pursue other options.
“He was greatly appreciative that the club had opened the door for a return. Wayne’s legacy at this club cannot be challenged and he still has a passion for the club.
“He will speak for himself but he did endorse the direction of club and Anthony’s appointment, whom he first brought to the Broncos.
“I feel very comfortable that the board and I worked as hard we could to make it happen, but Wayne is entitled to make a decision for his next role in the best interest of himself and his family.”