Bennett not concerned by criticism


Wayne Bennett said criticism of his appointment as England coach does not concern him as he embraces the challenge of taking the national team to another level.

Brisbane Broncos coach Bennett was this month named as Steve McNamara's successor on a two-year contract.

The 66-year-old is the most successful Australian coach in rugby league history, having won a record seven NRL Grand Finals.

St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham and Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell felt Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott should have been given the role.

But Bennett is determined to show why the Rugby Football League decided he was the right man to replace McNamara.

He said: "There's nothing [that's happened] in my life that everybody agreed with. If I listened to them I wouldn't be here today.

"It's not going to worry me. [Cunningham is] entitled to his opinion, my job is to change that opinion.

"Everyone is talking about the next level [England] can go to and that's why I'm here.

"I believe I can help them get to that next level. That's my challenge and that's the players' challenge"

Bennett also confirmed Sean O'Loughlin will remain captain of his country.

He said: "That certainly won't change, why should it? He's a good leader who's highly regarded in Australia by everyone and the feedback on him has been outstanding from people I've spoken to.

"So there's no cause to change it. I haven't come here to change things that worked in the past."

Bennett's Broncos side face O'Loughlin's Wigan Warriors in the World Club Series at the DW Stadium on Saturday.