NRL giant Brisbane has announced Anthony Seibold as its coach for 2019, about 90 minutes after terminating Wayne Bennett’s contract a year early.
The Broncos on Sunday afternoon confirmed the decision to sack Bennett, only two days after the seven-time premiership coach declared he would see out the final year of his contract next season.
Bennett, 68, will join South Sydney a year earlier than expected as part of a coach swap that will see Seibold move to the Broncos.
The Broncos’ decision follows Seibold’s outburst about having a “gutful” of Bennett’s behaviour during the coaching drama, which has placed a significant emotional strain on his family.
— NRL (@NRL) December 2, 2018
It was expected Seibold, 44, would link up with the Broncos as early as next week, but the NRL powerhouse confirmed his appointment within 90 minutes of Bennett’s sacking.
“Seibold has been granted an immediate release by South Sydney, and will be at the Broncos tomorrow for the first day of preseason training with the full squad in attendance,” the Broncos said in a statement.
The Broncos said the terms of Bennett’s termination were “confidential”.
— Brisbane Broncos (@brisbanebroncos) December 2, 2018
Bennett was the Broncos’ foundation coach when the club entered the New South Wales Rugby League first grade competition in 1998.
He won NSWRL premierships with the Broncos in 1992 and 1993, before leading them to the Super League title in 1997.
Bennett then guided the Broncos to NRL premierships in 1998, 2000 and 2006, before leaving the club at the end of the 2008 season.
His time away from the club between 2009 and 2014 saw him coach St George Illawarra to its 2010 premiership, however he had mixed results with Newcastle during his three seasons with the club (2012-2014).
Bennett returned to the Broncos to replace Anthony Griffin ahead of the 2015 season, in which he guided the club to the grand final.
The Broncos have made a staggering 22 finals series in his 25 seasons as coach.
The Rabbitohs would be the fifth NRL club he has coached, as he has also been in charge of Canberra, St George Illawarra and Newcastle during his decorated career.
Seibold comes to the Broncos with the reputation as an NRL coach on the rise.
He led the Rabbitohs to the preliminary finals in the 2018 season, an effort that earned him the NRL coach of the year award.
Seibold played in the Broncos’ lower grades during the 1990s when Bennett was first grade coach.
He will become only the fourth coach to take charge of the Broncos.