Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has been sacked by the club and replaced with former South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Anthony Siebold effective immediately.
Bennett is set to join the Rabbitohs as Seibold’s replacement.
The Broncos released the following statement confirming Bennett’s departure from the club on their website earlier today.
“The Brisbane Broncos Board has terminated coach Wayne Bennett’s contract with immediate effect.
“The terms of this termination are confidential.
“The Broncos thank him for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best in the future.
“An announcement about the club’s coach for the 2019 season will be made soon.
“The Broncos would like to thank members, sponsors, corporate partners, players and staff for their patience and understanding through this period of transition.”
Bennett had already agreed to coach the Rabbitohs from 2020 onwards and Seibold, likewise, had agreed to take over the Broncos from that date, signing a four-year contract with the club.
Speculation that the mooted future swap could be made an immediate one instead has been strong, but Bennett’s unwillingness to leave the Broncos has been a major stumbling block.
Bennett stated in a press conference on Friday that he intended to honour his contract with the Broncos for 2019, in a move that it seems has ultimately forced Brisbane’s hand.
“I’ve informed the players, the staff and the chairman that I’m staying and I will honour my 2019 contract which was always my plan,” Bennett said on Friday.
“I’ve spoken to South Sydney. I’m feeling for them a lot but at the same time I have a responsibility here.
“I’ve had a great relationship with the fans my whole career and I just felt I’d be letting them down a year before I should.”
Bennett did admit during his press conference that it was possible he’d be sacked by the club, a turn of events which has now come to pass.
Siebold voiced his frustration with Bennett earlier on Sunday, saying he’d “had a gutful” of his fellow NRL coach’s behaviour.
“I’m sick of Wayne carrying on. I’ve bit my tongue and said nothing until now,” Seibold said.
“I just want clarity and so do the players. I feel for the players at both clubs. It’s a joke.”