England wait on Bennett and Denver

England are still waiting for decisions on Wayne Bennett’s future and the mid-season test with New Zealand in Denver.

The RFL are keen for whoever is coach to commit to the next four year term, which will take in a Great Britain tour (2019), The Ashes (2020) and the 2021 World Cup, and Bennett is yet to indicate whether he wants to extend his time in charge.

With a gap in the calendar mid-season to accommodate an international, there are still ongoing wrangles with the NRL to release players for the game that they hope to play in the USA.

Ralph Rimmer, acting chief executive of the RFL, said: “We’re hoping to have an announcement by the end of the month, that’s what we’re aiming for. It might be pushing it a little bit but that’s the intention.

“There’s a bit of public relations to be resolved but that’s something we’d like to get sorted within the next week or so.

“On Wayne, one of the things we will say is that when we announce the coaching setup, it has to be a four-year programme that gets us to the World Cup.

“We’re working on a four-year cycle up to the next tournament and all the discussions we’ve had internally are on a four-year cycle which doesn’t just include the World Cup, but also broadcast deals, Sport England and things like that.

“We’ve just got couple of pieces to put in place.

“I’d say there’s some PR to be sorted, some hearts and minds to be won to hopefully get us to a good place. We certainly want to be able to take advantage of that mid-season window.

“I think we’ll wait until we get to the announcement. We don’t want to do anything on one or two years which gives us a mid-term decision to make, the idea is that it’s not short-termism, it gets us to a certain place at the right time.”

The planned Denver test takes place on a free weekend for both Super League and NRL clubs, with State of Origin scheduled for the same time.

However, it is believed that some NRL clubs are reluctant to release players, which would place significant restrictions on New Zealand being able to field their desired team.

An alternative plan could see England head Down Under for a second successive year, having travelled to Australia to face Samoa last summer.

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