Josh McGuire believes Wayne Bennett has plenty more to offer.
Josh McGuire believes Wayne Bennett has plenty more to offer.

McGuire backs Bennett to transform next club

KANGAROOS and Brisbane lock Josh McGuire has backed club mentor Wayne Bennett to keep coaching beyond 2019.

Bennett has been linked with a possible move to the Wests Tigers if Ivan Cleary links up with his son at Penrith and McGuire is adamant his coach would be a success.

"You can see what he's done at the Brisbane Broncos and the Dragons," McGuire said.

"Wayne is a very good coach and a very good club manager.

"Whoever gets Wayne next is going to be a lucky club because I know he is going to come in there and put systems in place that develop young players and brings a winning culture to your club."

Bennett, a veteran of 809 first grade games as coach of the Raiders, Broncos, Dragons and Knights will turn 69 on January 1.

The Broncos refused to give him a contract extension that would take him into his 70s, so he has little choice but to move on from Brisbane to continue coaching beyond 2019.

Despite his age, McGuire is certain that Bennett still has what it takes to be a long term coach in the NRL.

"He's still got it," McGuire said. "If you come for a run with Wayne you know how fit he is and how capable he is.

"He's definitely getting a bit long in the tooth for an old fella, but he's still got his wits about him and he's one of the sharpest minds in the game."

Bennett is well known for being a teetotaller and looks after his body a lot better than most men half his age.

The legendary coach has made clear his intention to keep coaching, and a move to the Tigers could be the perfect project.

McGuire feels Bennett has earned the right to make the decision on his terms and has no doubt he could keep coaching well into his 70s.

"He's still very physically fit and a very active man and I don't think you could ever put an age on Wayne Bennett," McGuire said.

"He will make the decision when he is ready and he's more than capable of coaching at a club for a long amount of time."