Brad Fittler has a new foe in the State of Origin coaching battle after old master Wayne Bennett was officially appointed as Queensland coach for November’s State of Origin series.
With Kevin Walters taking over at the Brisbane Broncos, Bennett and fellow former Maroons coach Mal Meninga were among the frontrunners for the state role, along with ex-Cowboys mentor Paul Green.
The job has gone to Bennett, who still has to guide South Sydney in the NRL finals. They take on Newcastle on Sunday but Queensland Rugby League believes he can juggle both positions in the short-term.
There was significant discussion on the QRL board about getting the right person. Several members favoured Australia coach Meninga, who has no international football to attend to this year due to COVID-19. The Gold Coast Titans, where Meninga holds the role of head of performance and culture, had also given their blessing for him to take the job.