The Sydney Morning Herald Is reporting that the South Sydney Rabbitohs have signed Jason Demetriou to a 4 years extension, with the last two years of that team seeing him take over from Wayne Bennett as the clubs head coach.
That means Wayne Bennett will move on from the end of the 2021 NRL season.
This is a really interesting move by the Rabbitohs. First of all, signing Jason Demetriou as the clubs next head coach in my opinion is a smart move. It removes any speculation as to who they will be chasing from the current crop of NRL coaching ranks and takes the heat out of the entire coaching situation.
The club knows what lies ahead, they are happy with what they have at the club, and they know where their future lies. Not too many clubs can say that.
The fact that Wayne Bennett only has two more seasons at the club says a lot.
Bennett has a fantastic record as a coach over his career, but over the last decade or so he has found it very difficult to get a team over the line and win titles at both club level and international level.
Bennett is coming off the back of a disastrous stint as the England/Great Britain coach, having just guided the British Lions to a winless tour and being effectively sacked a few weeks ago by the Rugby Football League.
I would be very surprised if we saw Bennett look to move to another club once his current deal at the South Sydney Rabbitohs ends, and that would be fair enough. By that stage Bennett will be 72 years old, and will have nothing left to prove in Rugby League.
He can’t coach forever!
Jason Demetriou is well recorded in Rugby League circles, having coached in England and in the Queensland Cup. He has waited for the right opportunity to present itself, and as Wayne Bennetts right hand man, this will no doubt be a smooth transition when he takes over the Rabbitohs coaching role in 2022.
It will be interesting to see whow the Rabbitohs go about recruiting players ahead of that coaching change in 2022. You would think that Jason Demetriou would have a big say in who the club looks to not only recruit through its junior ranks, but who the club targets at NRL level from players that are coming off contract.
Demetriou has an opportunity to step into a side in 2022 that he has actually helped build, a situation few, if any coaches have the luxury of experiencing. You would have both he and the Rabbitohs see the chance to give him the side he wants when he does take over from Wayne Bennett.
What ever the case may be, the Rabbitohs have made a smart move here. One that will bring stability to a situation that would normally have caused a lot of issues for a club. They have to be commended for that!
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