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Bennett says he's staying until he hears otherwise

When Wayne Bennett declared on Friday he was staying on in 2019 to honour his Broncos contract it was his own last will and testament on the matter.

Then, when asked by reporters at a press conference at Broncos HQ whether he could be out the door by the end of the day he added "there is always a possibility". understands the only way Bennett will not be at Brisbane in 2019 is if he is sacked by an edict authorised at the highest level of the club's majority owner NewsCorp.

Given the club hierarchy's repeated stance on not sacking Bennett it appears that is unlikely to occur, but with the coaching swap saga you just never know.

Bennett's decision on Friday to stay caught Broncos insiders and much of the media by surprise. The expectation was he was about to announce his departure and that South Sydney mentor Anthony Seibold, contracted to coach Brisbane from 2020, would be unveiled as Broncos coach possibly by the end of the day.

Bennett addresses media on Friday

Bennett said he was staying for the same reasons that convinced him to do so in the first place: "Because of the players, the staff I work with and the fans who I have had a great relationship with and who I thought I'd be letting down if I left a year before I should."

"I've been terribly consistent with it and nothing has changed today. I've informed the players and the staff, the CEO and the chairman that I am staying to honour my 2019 contract which was always my plan," he said.

South Sydney general manager of football Shane Richardson said recently the club wanted the swap to happen but was also comfortable that the Rabbitohs' 2019 season would not be derailed if it did not. Bennett said he had spoken to Souths about his plans and that the club had been supportive.

"There were a lot of things going on behind the scenes there. There was some aggravation there about Anthony wanting to be here a year early. You'd have to ask them but that was part of it," Bennett said.

''The Souths move was never instigated by me. I did a contract with Souths for 2020 and 2021. We never talked about '19.

"It was something I found myself drawn into that was none of my doing, but it's over now. They have been outstanding, South Sydney. [CEO] Blake Solly has been excellent to work with and Richo came to England to see me about the contract because we did it on the phone.

"I am disappointed for them but at the same time they understand my position and I will be there in 2020."

Bennett reiterated that coaching Brisbane for a season before joining Souths was no issue.

"Last time I left the Broncos I [announced it] in February and we made the [2008] semi-finals and got beaten right on full time, so I have no problems about next year and how to handle it," he said.

Bennett has been critical of the leadership Broncos CEO Paul White and Karl Morris but said he was happy to work with the club's hierarchy harmoniously.

I've informed the players and the staff, the CEO and the chairman that I am staying to honour my 2019 contract...

Wayne Bennett

He referred to a letter from Morris that was recently printed in NewsCorp newspapers that told him he was on board in 2019 and offered Bennett a role for another five years.

"I didn't want to accept that at the time because I want to coach on. I'm not ready to be an administrator yet," he said.

"[Morris] has supported me all the way through and I spoke to him Saturday morning where he said he wanted me here in 2019 as well.

"We are all moving on and we will all be one. They (the Broncos) knew I was going to make a decision today that I'd made 10 times before but this is the last time I'll be making it."

Bennett gave himself Friday's deadline for making his decision because "the speculation was mounting and I was going back to training on Monday".

"I didn't want to spend two days at the Broncos training and then find myself somewhere else," he said.

Broncos board member Darren Lockyer said he did not want to comment on the matter until he consults with the rest of the club's directors.

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga told he would be happy to see Bennett stay and honour his deal.

Bennett said it was important for player recruitment that there was clarity that he would be at Brisbane in 2019 but not beyond that. He said the club had a young squad capable of having a prosperous season and that he was pleased his football department staff now had clarity about their futures.

Earlier on Friday morning Bennett attended Broncos training for a short time where he told reporters that he has a big decision to make amid all the drama circulating around his mooted coaching swap with Seibold.

As he exited training on the walk to his car, he spoke to the media where he was asked about what was going to unfold on Friday.

"I've got a decision to make and the club has got a decision to make. We'll sort it out."

Bennett has made his decision and will now start preparing for his 26th and final year in charge of the Broncos.

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