Rugby League: NRL supercoach Wayne Bennett reportedly on NZ Kiwis shortlist

Seven-time NRL champion coach Wayne Bennett.
Seven-time NRL champion coach Wayne Bennett. Photo credit: Getty Images

NRL supercoach Wayne Bennett has confirmed his application for the NZ Kiwis role vacated by Michael Maguire last November and is reportedly on a shortlist of candidates for interview.

Newscorp reports Bennett, 74, is a "frontline contender" for the position, which would extend an international CV that already includes Australia, England and Great Britain.

"I've expressed interest in the job, yes," Bennett told Newscorp. "I've spoken to the NZRL and I'm waiting for them to come back to me.

"This doesn't mean I've got the job. There will be other applicants, but the point is I have expressed interest, the NZRL know that and they have a process going on."

Bennett indicated his interest in the Kiwis coaching role in December, after Maguire accepted the New South Wales State of Origin appointment, effectively ending his relationship with the New Zealand team.

Maguire had guided the Kiwis to a record 30-0 victory over the Mal Meninga-coached Kangaroos in the inaugural Pacific Championship final at Hamilton.

Bennett has an extensive coaching record at all levels of the game, including the 2007 All Golds tour of Great Britain and France, and the 2008 World Cup victory, as mentor to rookie NZ head coach Stephen Kearney. 

He has won seven NRL championships with Brisbane Broncos (six) and St George Dragons, and coached Queensland over four separate Origin campaigns, winning five series.

"I am waiting to see where it goes," Bennett told Newscorp. "I have been in contact with a guy to make it known I'm keen on the Kiwi job and let's see what happens.

"I love a challenge."

NZRL chief executive Greg Peters has reportedly confirmed Bennett on the shortlist, but a decision isn't due until late February.