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Wayne Bennett relinquishes Maroons coaching reins

Wayne Bennett has relinquished the Queensland State of Origin coaching reins to focus on South Sydney's 2021 premiership tilt. 

Queensland Rugby League managing director Robert Moore has confirmed Wayne Bennett will not be seeking another term as head coach of the Queensland Maroons.

“We were really grateful that Wayne made himself available to help us out last year,” Moore said.

Bennett made a storied return to the Queensland Origin fold for the first time in 16 years in November once Kevin Walters was appointed as Brisbane coach, engineering a 2-1 series triumph and blooding 14 Maroons debutants across the three games.

“He was the perfect fit for the role with the players we had and the situation we were in... together with his assistants Neil Henry and Mal Meninga, it was an outstanding coaching set up that laid the foundations for one of our state’s greatest series wins," Moore said. 

Moore said Bennett recently informed the QRL he would concentrate solely on his NRL commitments in 2021.

“We understand the decision Wayne has made in his last year of his contract with the South Sydney Rabbitohs, as he’s eager to concentrate his efforts on them because they’ve been so close (to a premiership),” Moore said.

“With Wayne’s decision, we’ve now moved to a process to consider the next appointment and we anticipate that process will be completed early this year.”

The 2021 Origin series is scheduled to kick off on June 9, with Game II and III on June 28 and July 14 respectively, with venues still to be confirmed.