Wayne Bennett has flatly denied reports that he's being shafted for Craig Bellamy, saying that it's "just not going to happen".
Bennett addressed the media early Wednesday morning following a flurry of rumours that Broncos bosses had approached the Melbourne coach, who is off-contract at the end of the season.
But the 68-year-old revealed that while he was, in fact, the one who advised Brisbane CEO Paul White to talk to Bellamy about taking over in 2020, that didn't mean he'd be stepping aside a year early.
“That’s just not going to happen,” Bennett said flatly. “I was part of the discussion.
“We’d be silly not to look at Craig but the difficulty is that he’d have to sit out the year. Next year will be an appropriate time for me [but] at this point in my life I’ve still got a lot to offer.
“I want to stay here, I want to work here but I want to do the right thing with this club.
“No, I’m staying here in 2019. That was always agreed upon, it was not part of the discussion."
When asked if he was aware that White had spoken to Bellamy, Bennett admitted that he had heard it through the grapevine but that it didn't particularly bother him.
“I was aware he was going to go and talk to him but I was not aware he had talked to him,” Bennett said. “We’re all busy people.
“I meant to talk to Paul about it but my priority’s the team.
“Somebody’s talked who shouldn’t have. It’s our business. Surely we can conduct our business in private. Someone’s obviously spoken."
Bennett, who will tomorrow become the first coach to hit 800 games, also touched on the possibility of staying on with the Broncos after his contract winds up at the end of the 2019 season.
“There is a factor for me with health and age,” Bennett said. “[But I’m] capable of doing the job.
“I feel great physically and I’m not going to be defined by my age so I may want to coach but if the club doesn’t see that’s relevant, I’ll coach somewhere else.”
Don't miss a minute of the footy! Take a look at the games we're calling this weekend on Triple M.