You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Wayne Bennett says his job is to "build clubs, not destroy them", so he will not talk about his move to Newcastle until his job is finished with the Dragons at the end of this season.

However, Bennett was happy to talk over the weekend about the Dragons' weekly challenge, Darren Lockyer's retirement and his favourite current players in his first interview since announcing last week that he would join the Knights in 2012 on a lucrative four-year-contract with the now cashed-up Newcastle courtesy of new owner, billionaire mining magnate Nathan Tinkler.

"I'm at St George Illawarra and it's important to me that I do the best job I can there with them until the end of this football season," Bennett told Wendell Sailor and Ryan Phelan in an interview on the Sin Bin on Sydney's 95.3FM, provided exclusively to

"And my continual reference to it does nothing to help us as a footy club, and it certainly doesn't do anything to help Newcastle where I'm going."

Bennett said he had been in a similar situation in 2008 when he announced he would be leaving the Broncos after 21 seasons to join the Dragons in 2009.

"I never spoke about those two jobs at any stage and I don't intend to do it this year either until my time is up here and then we can talk about Newcastle," he said. 

"But my job is to build football teams, not destroy them, and by me continually referring to one that I'm going to doesn't help anybody and it certainly doesn't help the one that I'm at."

Bennett said he could not control all the media hype and speculation about his move, so his focus was on the things he could control. 

"I do have control over what I say and I do have control over the direction I want to take the club in when I'm coaching," he said.

He also refused to comment on speculation that fullback Darius Boyd would follow him from the Dragons to the Knights next year.

"Darius, like me, is at the Dragons right now and Darius is his own man," Bennett said. "He'll make his own decisions, so you'll have to talk to him about that."

With regard to how close Bennett was to joining the Rabbitohs, he said: "I made all my statements about what I was going to do and what I've done ... but it is a great club and they've done a great job since they came back into the game. 

"Remember, they were out for three years and didn't have a club. So it's been a step at a time for them and I think we all recognise there's so much talent at that club now and it is one of the foundation clubs of the game and won the most premierships of any club. 

"And I think everybody realises the game will be at its absolute best when the Rabbitohs are at the top of the league again."

Meanwhile, Bennett said the Dragons' status as the NRL's pacesetter meant means clubs really "turned up" to play them every week, using the premiers and world club champions as a benchmark. 

"It does go with the territory," Bennett said. "But we're focused on that now. I think our last month of performances have shown that and we've come to the reality of what's in front of us and every game is tough.
"But, as we did last week against Canterbury, and we did in Newcastle, we weathered the storm and you just stay with it. You know what works for you and there's a great confidence in the team, of course, now. 

"And so through that 80-minute period, in the end, if you stick with it and because you know it works, it's the thing that makes it all very effective and that's what they've learned to be, very effective in how they play their game now."

Bennett was also asked about Darren Lockyer's announcement last month, but said he did not play a role in the Broncos captain's decision to retire at the end of this season.

"Darren is as good a balanced person I've dealt with in my coaching career, so he's quite capable of doing that (making the decision) himself," Bennett said. 

"But we did discuss it. He just told me that's what he was going to do. He felt pretty good about it and all that when we did the All Stars game together, which I loved doing with him.

"I could see by his mannerisms as well. You kind of get to know after a while when the players are coming towards the end of their careers without them even telling you, just with their mannerisms. And I saw that there was a bit of a subtle change there as well.

"And, look, coaching is the other issue. I mean, everyone keeps bandying it around. You know, all the games he's played ... of course he's got the knowledge to coach.
"But coaching is a much more complex thing than that. And I think he's got a great temperament and I think he's got a lot of qualities that would make him a coach who could coach for a long period of time. 

"But he's got to realise, and I'm sure he does - he's very astute, which is going to be his absolute key - that it's a time factor and if he takes his time with it I'm sure he can make it."

Bennett, who has been coaching in the NRL since his appointment with Canberra in 1987, was asked to name the players, in the current crop, who he loves watching and thinks are champions of the modern era.

"Well, I love coaching Darren Lockyer and I think he's done so much … so many people have idolised him and enjoyed what he's given for so many years," he said.

"Seventeen years he's given and he's given his best every week. Of the current players right now, he's in that category.

"Darius Boyd, I just love his work at the back. He's taken it to another level with Billy Slater, and Billy's a great player and I love watching him play. And the other player that I really I enjoy watching play is Benji Marshall. Benji is great to watch and great for the game as well.
"And, you know, Mark Gasnier coming back into a bit of form. I always love watching Mark Gasnier play. They just do things that we all dream about and wish we could do."