Anthony Seibold front Rabbitohs training.
Anthony Seibold front Rabbitohs training.

Seibold takes aim over coach swap talk

ANTHONY Seibold has put talk of a coach swap with Wayne Bennett for 2019 down to the media having their own agenda.

The two coaches will swap clubs in 2020, but many believe it should be brought forward a year to allow both clubs the opportunity to move on immediately.

However Seibold has called out the media on the first day of Rabbitohs pre-season training for raising the prospect of his potential early move to the Broncos.

"Somebody has obviously got an agenda there by saying that stuff," Seibold said.

"I had a great evening with the guys at Damien Cook's wedding on Friday night and I got some really lovely phone calls and texts from the guys over the last week.

"Obviously they are disappointed with the fact I am going to move on in 2020, but they understand my reasons for wanting to go home. I've been on the road for 13 years."

Seibold maintains his decision to return home to his native Queensland was based on family.

The decision to leave his current playing group was one he didn't take lightly and he said he remains committed to the Rabbitohs for the remainder of his contract.

"I've got a good relationship with the players and one of the things I did 12 months ago was put a lot of time into building relationships with the players," Seibold said.

"When I took over the players had come off the back of not such a great season, so I did a lot of work around relationships, so I'm keen to go to work.

"It's been a really positive 12 months here and the players have worked really hard and my love for the playing group and the club hasn't diminished by people in the media having an agenda."

Seibold admitted it was a difficult decision to make to leave the club that gave him his first head coaching role in the NRL.

Breaking the news to Rabbitohs owner Russell Crowe was one of the hardest phone calls Seibold has had to make.

England coach Wayne Bennett is away in the UK making any potential coach swap difficult until he returns.
England coach Wayne Bennett is away in the UK making any potential coach swap difficult until he returns.

"Russell understood and he was the first person I told that I was going to the Broncos in 2020," Seibold said.

"It was a conversation that I didn't like making because I didn't want to let Russell down, but at the end of the day I did what was right for me."

The main sticking point for a potential early move to the Broncos appears to be the difference in wages between Seibold and Bennett.

Bennett earns around 500,000 more per season and would likely request being paid out by the Broncos if they were to move him on a year early.

It remains to be seen if the Broncos board would approve paying Bennett that amount of money to coach the Rabbitohs next season.