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Bennett to the rescue? - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Sat, 19 Jan 2008 17:02:00 GMT
Former Kangaroos boss Wayne Bennett is the front-runner to take over as New Zealand coach after Gary Kemble tendered his resignation on Saturday.

Kemble ended his brief tenure as Kiwi coach in a move he described as being in the 'best interests of the game.'

The ex-fullback revealed his decision to senior New Zealand Rugby League officials on Saturday afternoon after returning from a fact-finding trip to Sydney on Friday night.

"What matters to me most is the Kiwi jersey and the game itself," Kemble said.

"I want to see the Kiwis having the best possible chance of winning the World Cup and, to help make that possible, I've decided it's in New Zealand rugby league's best interests that I should step aside."

NZRL chairman Ray Haffenden said the NZRL would begin the process to find a new coach as soon possible.

But with talk of Bennett being offered a mentoring position only days ago, it would be quite surprising if the 6-time premiership winning coach didn't succeed Kemble.

Kemble's position was placed in serious jeopardy last week when Roy Asotasi and David Kidwell confided to the media that they had no confidence in Kemble as Kiwi coach.

"This hasn't been a good week for the game in this country," New Zealand Rugby League chairman Ray Haffenden said.

"As a board we weren't at all impressed with the conduct of the players in this matter. It wasn't appropriate or acceptable."

"We're disappointed Gary has resigned but we admire him for the courage he has shown in making this tough decision and also for the dignified way he has handled himself."

Kemble kicked off his reign with a 58-0 hiding inflicted by the Kangaroos in Wellington, followed by a 3-0 series whitewash at the hands of Great Britain.

The Kiwis then just managed to scrape home 22-14 against France.

It was a big fall from grace for League's version of the All-Blacks who only two-years earlier defeated Australia 24-0 in the 2005 Tri-Nations final. - Read More, Here