Wayne Bennett insists he will see out his contract as Brisbane Broncos coach, despite reports linking Craig Bellamy to the role in 2019.
Seven-time premiership coach Bennett addressed the media on Wednesday ahead of the Broncos' clash with Parramatta and he was questioned about the club's move for the current Melbourne Storm coach.
Bennett's contract runs until the end of next season and he was adamant he would not be stepping aside early.
"I'm staying here in 2019," he said. "This was always agreed upon and that was never part of the discussion."
The Broncos coach did, however, endorse Bellamy and admits that he approved the decision to approach the off-contract Melbourne coach.
"I was part of the discussion and I said we'd be silly not to look at Craig," Bennett said.
"I initiated it. I've got to be honest in life. You can't just sit here and think it's all good and I don't want it unfolding without having some control over it."
The 68-year-old Bennett was adamant he would not work alongside Bellamy if the move came to fruition, but added he could extend his coaching career with the Broncos or elsewhere.
"There is a factor for me with health and age and I've got to make sure I'm capable of doing the job I am right now," Bennett said.
"I feel great physically and mentally and I'm not going to be defined by my age. I may well want to coach later on, but if the club doesn't see that's relevant then I'll coach somewhere else. That's a decision I need to think about myself."
Meanwhile, speaking separately to the media in Brisbane on Wednesday, Broncos CEO Paul White emphasised Bennett will continue to coach the club next season.
"Wayne Bennett's our coach for 2019. I've been totally consistent with that and nothing has changed," he said.
"The conversations I've had with Craig were discussed with Wayne and he endorsed the proposition.
"I wouldn't have engaged in that conversation without speaking to my head coach and that's the nature of our relationship.
"We have a coach for next year, but my role is to have a view for the future and I won't apologise for that."
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