Gillett: Wayne ‘reassured’ us he’ll be here in 2019
BRONCOS forward Matt Gillett says the playing group expect to see Wayne Bennett at the helm of the club next year, despite continued speculation an immediate swap with Anthony Seibold is on the cards.
Brisbane returned to Red Hill for their first official day of pre-season training on Thursday morning, with Gillett one of the bigger names to get put through his paces.
They were overseen by Broncos assistant coach Jason Demetriou, with Bennett still overseas for England's three-Test series against New Zealand.
It has been a turbulent off-season for the Broncos, after Bennett was told he would not be coach beyond next year, leading to him signing with the Rabbitohs for 2020.
Current South Sydney coach Seibold meanwhile will take over the reins at Brisbane in 2020, but there has been constant speculation a swap could happen sooner with the Rabbitohs reportedly uneasy about Seibold remaining with the club for 2019.
However, Gillett said the Brisbane playing group were still taking Bennett at his word that he will be Broncos coach in 2019 and expect him to return after his tour with England.
"I'm expecting Wayne," Gillett said when asked which coach will be at Red Hill in 2019.
"He's reassured us that he will be here next year as our coach.
"We just have to worry about getting ourselves right. These things happen in the footy world. Players and coaches are always getting chopped and changed.
"It's important as a playing group that we stay tight and get the job done here.
"You just want to get those things sorted out as early as you can so everyone can have a clear path on where the future is going."
Gillett said it would be sad to see Bennett go when the time comes.
However, the Queensland and Australian backrower has also spent time learning from Seibold, who was the Maroons assistant coach in 2016 and 2017.
"He's a great bloke, easy to get along with and knows his footy as well," Gillett said of Seibold.
"When he does come in 2020, the boys will love having him on board. He'll be a different coach to what Wayne was.
"When Seibs does come when his contract starts, it will be a fresh start and the boys will really enjoy it."
Gillett's pre-season training on Thursday morning was mostly restricted to the gym while a number of young guns, including forward Payne Haas, took part in an early morning time trial.
Gillett still cannot take part in any contact work as he recovers from an ongoing neck injury and a shoulder reconstruction, but the representative star was positive he was on the right track for a strong 2019 season.
He will have another scan on his neck at the end of November and is expected to commence contact training after Christmas.
"I still have a few final checks to go," he said.
"I still have to get the final scan. (The neck) was healing at the end of this (season) but they caught a bit of soft bone that hadn't turned into that hard bone yet.
"Everything's looking good there, I just need to get the final tick.
"I won't be doing contact work until after the Christmas break. My main focus is getting my shoulder right. Everything's going pretty well so far."
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