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Bennett: I've come to Souths with 'a clear conscience'

Wayne Bennett has stepped out for the first time as South Sydney coach at Redfern on Tuesday, overseeing his first training session in charge of the Rabbitohs.

Two days after he was sacked by the Broncos, he put his new team through a series of training drills at Redfern Oval, decked out in the unfamiliar cardinal and myrtle kit.

Bennett and Anthony Seibold swapped roles a year before they were due to begin their contracts at their new clubs after Brisbane abruptly ended the seven-time premiership-winning mentor's tenure on Sunday.

"All went very well, it was highly organised. It's gonna make it easy to make the transition with very little notice," he said.

"I had a look in the mirror when I put my shirt on. It looked OK so I kept going.

"When I agreed to come here in 2020 it [an immediate shift] was never on the agenda. There was a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes.

Bennett welcomed by Sam Burgess

"Half past three Sunday afternoon is the first time I knew about it [the sacking]. I'm pleased to be here and I'm pleased to come here on my terms.

"I've got a clear conscience.

"I was happy to be sacked. I'll just leave it at that, I was happy.

Wayne Bennett at Rabbitohs training.
Wayne Bennett at Rabbitohs training. ©

"At the end of the day I made a decision to stay at the Broncos, I'm here on other circumstances. It's done now and I'm happy to be here. I feel all the support I need as a coach.

"The job's difficult anyway but you need the support of the board and I've got that here."

When asked to sum up recent events, he replied: "Nothing that's happened in the past six months has made any sense. But it's happened."

Bennett said if a player wanted to follow him from the Broncos, "that's fine" but denied he had a history of taking players from the club. His support staff at Brisbane look unlikely to be following him.

"When I was interviewed by Shane Richardson for the 2020 job I was told I couldn't bring staff with me. I said that's fine Shane I don't want someone to lose their job because I'm coming. None of the staff members at the Broncos have ever been part of the discussion here," he said.

His goals for 2019 are high.

"It always comes down to premierships but there's a lot of work in front of us here. We need a little bit of luck, things to go for you but we have the quality players here. I can feel a real comradeship among the players, real mateship," he said.

"Everything's in place, it's just a matter of how we play our football, luck with injuries, thatkind of thing."

Bennett's message for Rabbitohs supporters

He confirmed he was keen for Greg Inglis to return to fullback from the centres, which would mean Alex Johnston returns to the wing but Bennett added he needed to speak to the South Sydney skipper before he made a decision.

Rabbitohs forward Sam Burgess was keen to reconnect with Bennett after playing under him in recent years for the English national team.

"He's great. Obviously I worked with him in England so I know what he's about. He's a good man so it'll be good to have him around," Burgess said.

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