(AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
THE BEST OF WAYNE BENNETT'S FIRST PRESS CONFERENCE AS SOUTH SYDNEY NRL COACH:
ON HIS RABBITOHS WELCOMING
"Sam (Burgess) gave me a cuddle. I'm sorry Tom and George weren't here. They'd have cuddled me too."
ON HOW HE FELT WEARING SOUTHS' FAMOUS MYRTLE AND GREEN
"It's a bit mixed. Mixed good. I had a look in the mirror when I put my shirt on. It looked okay so I kept going."
ON THE RABBITOHS' 2019 TITLE HOPES
"It always come down to premierships. There's a lot of work in front of us. You need a little bit of luck, a few things to go for you, but the quality of the players are here, the club's here for it. Everything is in place."
ON BEING SACKED VIA VOICEMAIL BY THE BRONCOS
"I'm not here to talk about that again, I'm here to talk about South Sydney. That can wait for another day. I'm pleased to be here and I'm pleased I came here on my terms in that I was asked to leave, sacked, whatever terminology you want to use. I've got a clear conscience."
ON WHY HE WAITED TO BE SACKED
"Because it was important to me. I've been a team member all my life. I live team I talk team and some of my team were being isolated and cut out and I couldn't walk out on them."
ON HOW HE LEFT HIS PLAYERS IN BRISBANE
"You don't get the chance to say goodbye to anybody when they sack you and they tell you not to come back into the building. But that's all fine. We'll all get over it."
ON HIS EMOTIONS ABOUT LEAVING THE BRONCOS AFTER 25 SEASONS AND SIX PREMIERSHIPS WITH THE CLUB
"Do I look heartbroken?"
ON EXPLORING HIS LEGAL OPTIONS FOR A FULL PAYOUT FROM THE BRONCOS
"They tell me that's confidential but I keep reading stuff in the papers so someone must be leaking something somewhere but I'll keep it confidential."
ON WHETHER HE APPROACHED ANY SOUTHS PLAYERS BEFORE BEING APPOINTED FOR 2019
"Yeah I did on the request of (Souths football manager) Shane Richardson because they were guys that were under contract, they wanted to keep them here and I was going to be the long-term coach here from 2020. I talked to them about contracts. Those are purely what those discussions were about."
ON WORKING WITH RABBITOHS OWNER RUSSELL CROWE
"I don't know Russell at all. I met him once or twice. Everyone tells me he's a good bloke. Sam (Burgess) tells me he's a great bloke and that's all I need to know. I've had hardly any dealing with him."
ON SOUTHS' 2019 ROUND-EIGHT GRUDGE MATCH WITH BRISBANE
"You guys will make a big deal of it. It won't be a big deal to me. My focus will be on us playing well on the day. It's not personal for the players. I'm not going to drag my baggage into their lives. It won't happen on my watch."
ON WHETHER ANY BRONCOS PLAYERS WILL FOLLOW HIM TO SYDNEY
"If you look at when I left the Broncos last time, one player (Darius Boyd) followed me. That's because the club didn't want him. I don't have a history to taking players out of the Broncos when I move. If someone wants to come, that's fine."
ON WHETHER GREG INGLIS WILL PLAY FULLBACK?
"It's not my first choice as fullback. We'll talk to GI about where he wants to play and where he thinks the team will benefit the most from his position. He's been one of the great players in our game. When it's all added up - history and Immortals and everything else - he's going to be right up there amongst them all. So I don't like telling those guys where they have to play."
ON WORKING WITH THE SYDNEY MEDIA
"I can't wait. It will be the highlight of my time here. I'll go to bed at night waiting 'til I see you the next morning. I know who is pleased I'm here is Todd Greenberg. I know that. It takes the pressure off him."
ON WHETHER THIS WOULD BE HIS LAST COACHING GIG
"I'll only be 72. Then I'll be young, in the prime of my life, so I don't think so."
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