Veivers backs Bennett for England

Phil Veivers believes his brother-in-law Wayne Bennett would be the right man at the right time to coach England.

The Workington Town coach, who is related to Bennett through marriage, said the Brisbane Broncos mentor just wants to help grow rugby league globally.

“Wayne was pretty open about the fact that he wanted to be involved with an international side,” Veivers told Love Rugby League.

“I think everyone probably thought he was talking about Fiji or Samoa or Tonga or one of those, even PNG.

“So it’s come as a shock to everyone. But it’s happened to be England. He’s done it before, he’s won a World Cup with New Zealand.

“I know he just wants to progress the game internationally and having missed out on Australia, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a major announcement tomorrow.”

Bennett who played for Australia and briefly for Huddersfield as a winger in the 1970s, started coaching Ispwich in the Brisbane competition in 1976.

He won grand finals as a coach in the amateur game and with Souths Logan Magpies, before leading Queensland to a 3-0 series win in State of Origin.

Bennett co-coached the Canberra Raiders to a grand final appearance in 1987. He moved back to Queensland to coach the Brisbane Broncos, leading them to six premierships and two World Club Challenge wins in a 20-year stint.

Bennett had has coached the Kangaroos in two different spells, served as an assistant and advisor to New Zealand when they won the World Cup in 2008 and won another NRL grand final with St George Illawarra in 2010.

He returned to the Broncos in 2015 and led them to the NRL grand final, where they were beaten in golden point by North Queensland.

Veivers believes the fact that the 66-year old is Australian shouldn’t prevent him from coaching England.

“I think the days are pretty much gone, you look at rugby union and also soccer, cricket,” he said.

“If you’re good enough as a coach it’s irrelevant what nationality you are. I think the RFL needs to give it a complete shake-up from that side of things.

“The guy’s pretty long in the tooth and he’s been through a few things, and he has an opinion on things how should be run.

“He hasn’t been far wrong on the buttons that he’s pressed in his coaching career. I think it would be good for England. He’ll go down in history as the best coach ever.”

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