Hardaker welcomes Bennett appointment

England fullback Zak Hardaker has backed the appointment of new England head coach Wayne Bennett, describing him as rugby league’s version of Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola.
Australian coach Bennett was named as the successor to Steve McNamara this week and Hardaker says the Queenslander can only benefit the game in this country.
“Listening to the reaction since the announcement there has been some mixed opinions with people hoping for an English coach for the England team,” Hardaker said.

“Whilst I can understand those thoughts, I can see that the chance to get someone of the experience and calibre of Wayne Bennett would be too hard to turn down.

“If the England football team had the option of appointing Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola, who would not make them the next England manager.

“There is lots we can learn off Wayne Bennett, he knows the Australians and New Zealanders inside out so that will help. Hopefully he can have an English assistant who can learn from him to leave a legacy after his time in charge.

“His appointment can only be beneficial for the game here and a new regime will be good for England.”
Hardaker said he can’twait for the Four Nations this year.

“To represent your country is a massive honour and I enjoyed every game in the Test series last year. It was tough but I enjoyed it,” he said.

“I want to perform better this year than I did last year and if I can play well for Leeds Rhinos and can get picked by Wayne Bennett and his coaching team, hopefully I can keep hold of that number one shirt.

“I am confident in my own abilities and, if I achieve my goals, hopefully I will be England full back again in 2016.”

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