The Roar
The Roar


Wigan chief wants home-grown England coach to replace Wayne Bennett

Wayne Bennett. Could he leave the Bunnies? (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
14th January, 2020

Wigan Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan has called for Wayne Bennett to be replaced as national coach by an Englishman.

Lenagan, one of the most influential of the Super League club owners, pushed the claims of former Wigan coach Shaun Wane as the successor to Bennett, whose contract ran out at the end of 2019.

Wane ended his long association with the club after leading them to a third grand final triumph in 2018 and is currently working part-time in Scottish Rugby Union.

The Rugby Football League are currently compiling a review into the disappointing Great Britain Lions tour and expect to make an announcement on the vacant coaching role at the next board meeting on February 6.

Speaking at a briefing at Wigan’s pre-season media day, Lenagan said a majority of club chairman want a change of coach and picked out Castleford boss Daryl Powell as another candidate.

“The least said about the recent international series the better,” Lenagan said. 

“It’s interesting to see our old friend Shaun being mooted a few times in terms of whether or not he should become the England coach.

“There is no doubt that from the vast majority of chairman I talk to that we’d like to see an English guy and somebody who can motivate and understand Super League better.

“I think Wayne Bennett is an enormously capable coach and has been superb all his life but I would much prefer a Shaun Wane or a Powell or whoever it is but someone of the calibre and talent who can make the England team play well because he knows them and doesn’t make the sort of strange selection decisions.”