Bennett steps away from Maroons

14 January 2021 15:51:43 GMTPlus11

Wayne Bennett is stepping away from State of Origin to focus on South Sydney Rabbitohs, with Paul Green now in line to take the Queensland reins.

Bennett stepped into the role following the departure of Kevin Walters to the Brisbane Broncos and masterminded one of the biggest shocks in Origin history.

The Maroons were not given much of a hope against New South Wales but managed to win the series 2-1 and Bennett, not for the first time in his career, was hailed a hero.

However soon after he told Queensland officials that he would not be carrying on as he needs to focus on the push for NRL glory with Souths in 2021.

"A week or so after Origin Wayne indicated that he wanted to focus on the Rabbitohs," QRL chairman Bruce Hatcher told

"He said straight away that he's always ready to help, and people that think he's lost his enthusiasm don't know him.

"But he was very grateful to the Rabbitohs for giving him the opportunity last year and now he wants to focus on 2021 and giving it a big shake this year.

"Now we've got our board meeting on January 29 and we'll have our review of Origin. That review has been completed but is yet to be discussed in any great detail.

"The most important thing to understand is that we will go through a board verified process to make sure we get the right person."

Reports are now rife suggesting that former Cowboys coach Green is the leading contender to take over.

Souths are priced at 6.50 to win the NRL grand final.

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