St Helens’ Kristian Woolf has become one of the leading coaches of his generation.
After making the move to Super League ahead of the 2020 season, the Tonga national boss has more than put his stamp on the UK competition, winning two Grand Finals and a Challenge Cup in his two-and-a-half years at the club so far.
With Saints playing a superb brand of rugby, coupled with incredible defence, there is little to suggest that the Merseyside club will not win a fourth Grand Final in a row – and a third for Woolf – in 2022.
However, with Woolf yet to commit to any future contract, the 46-year-old has been linked with a move back to the NRL.
And, with the New Zealand Warriors and Wests Tigers now both looking for new bosses after the sacking of Nathan Brown and Michael Maguire respectively, there is no shortage of potential destinations.
The Daily Telegraph previously reported that Woolf is the number one target for the Warriors after the pain of the past few seasons under Brown.
Yet Woolf has also been linked with a coaching role alongside Sam Burgess at the Dolphins, the Courier Mail previously reported.
Bennett himself revealed that Woolf, whose deal runs out at the end of 2022, is a main target to come in as assistant and then take the reins permanently in 2024.
“I would be interested in Kristian, plus a couple of others,” Bennett said.
“I’m not sure what will play out. I imagine there are a few clubs interested in Kristian, he is a good young coach and yes, he is one of about four guys we are interested in.
“There is so much to be sorted out for us, I won’t be jumping at shadows.
“It’s not an urgent time frame yet (finalising his assistant), we’re still a while away from starting up so I can take my time. We know who the head coach is. I will get my ducks in order first and then I will see what our succession plan is.”
However, it has been revealed this morning that the Canterbury Bulldogs are reportedly looking at Woolf, according to zerotackle, but chief Phil ‘Gus’ Gould has claimed he hasn’t spoke to any coach as of yet.
“I keep saying this – I haven’t spoken to anyone, nor am I going to speak to anyone in the immediate future,” the 63-year-old said.
“We’re trying to get our club right so that when I do ask someone they say ‘yes’ immediately, because they can see what we’re doing.
“We’ve got a lot of things to fix up. A lot of things.
“It’s going to be great. Bulldogs are a big club, it’s a great club. I know it’s been down for a long time but it’s going to turn around, I promise you.
“It’s not going to happen overnight. I don’t want to be going out and asking coaches and them going, ‘I don’t know, it will be too hard’.”