BY CURTIS WOODWARD
Legendary Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett could replace Ivan Cleary at Wests Tigers for the 2020 season according to The Australian.
Bennett is off contract at the Broncos at the end of 2019 with Brisbane confirming they will not seek to renew his deal.
Cleary has been strongly linked to a move back to the Penrith Panthers where he would have the chance to mentor his son – Panthers half Nathan. But Ivan is contracted to Wests Tigers until 2020.
The relationship between Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe and Ivan Cleary has been frosty in recent months. From all reports, Pascoe and Cleary didn’t speak at the club’s presentation night and Cleary was a non-starter at the Wests Tigers grand final lunch last week.
Bennett is one of the greatest coaches of all time and his aura could lift a franchise desperate to find on-field success.
He also has a link to Wests Tigers through his close relationship with Benji Marshall. The pair have worked together at the Broncos, NRL All Stars and the Kiwi national team.
Cleary and Bennett are also managed by the same agency.
Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe is a proactive leader and spoke impressively about the organisation’s future at last week’s lunch in Lilyfield.
If Ivan has already made his mind up to leave – Pascoe already has a replacement.