South Sydney players have been told Anthony Seibold will remain as coach for next season after Wayne Bennett rejected a proposed swap to serve out his final year in charge of Brisbane.
Broncos officials were hoping to confirm Seibold as their new coach on Friday after high-level negotiations involving the club’s major stakeholder, NewsCorp, to facilitate the exchange for next season but Bennett announced he was staying put.
Bennett and Seibold will switch clubs in 2020 but Rabbitohs general manager of football Shane Richardson advised captain Greg Inglis and other senior players, including Sam Burgess, John Sutton and Damien Cook, that it would be business as usual next season.
"I have spoken to Seibs and the senior players this afternoon and we are all moving forward in 2019 together," Richardson said.
"I spoke to Greg before he flew out on his holiday and he is really happy, so is Sam and John Sutton and Cookie, so we are in a good space that way.
Mal backs Bennett to succeed at Broncos in 2019
"We’ve just now got to knuckle down in 2019 and get on with the job of trying to win it. That would be the best thing for everyone."
Seibold was at Redfern Oval when Bennett advised Broncos players he would continue at the club next season and the 2018 Dally M coach of the year later flew to Brisbane to attend a fundraising event for his former school and Friday night’s Anthony Mundine-Jeff Horn fight.
While there was speculation he would also be unveiled as the Broncos coach, Richardson insisted Bennett had never made a commitment to Souths that he would take charge next season.
Bennett addresses media on Friday
Both clubs were keen for an immediate swap but Seibold will now oversee Rabbitohs training on Monday and Bennett will remain at the helm of the Broncos.
"At the end of the day it comes down to whether the administration, the coaches and the players can get on with the job, and we can because no one has got a problem with each other," Richardson said.
"There is no animosity between Seibs and I, and there is no animosity between the senior players and Seibs so we will just keep going in the same direction in 2019."