Souths Wayne Bennett, Brad Fittler on what he learned from Wayne as a coach

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Souths Wayne Bennett, Brad Fittler on what he learned from Wayne as a coach

Rugby league great Brad Fittler has revealed how Wayne Bennett’s “simple” approach to coaching has helped him throughout his own career.

Fittler, the current coach of the NSW Blues, has emerged as one of the game’s most promising coaching prospects and this season his name has been linked to a number of vacant NRL head coach roles.

Since becoming the Blues coach in 2018, Fittler has won three of the past four series.

But in 2011, not long after the disappointing end of his career coaching his former squad the Roosters, Fittler spent some time coaching Bennett for the NRL All Stars clash that year.

When asked about that experience, Fittler opened up about what he had learned from Bennet as a coach.

“He lets people be themselves, something I’ve really tried to work on,” Fittler told Wide World of Sports’ Freddy and the Eighth.

“You sometimes walk away a little underwhelmed. But that’s key for him, he doesn’t really do much.

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“He’s very simple. You can see his defense are the things he understands and tries to convey to his team

“He does it in a very simple way. You can always see all his teams build throughout the season… he makes them come together.

“In the short time I spent with him, it’s the real basics.

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“The hardest thing to do is keep your nerves because you’re panicking. Everyone’s panicking and they want to fix people.”

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Before taking the Blues job in 2018, Fittler had previous experience as a head coach for the Roosters between 2007 and 2009. After a successful first season, things turned sour and he was eventually fired with a 43 percent win rate.

After taking over from the Roosters mid-season in 2007, Fittler led the club to a top four finish in 2008 but was unable to build on that, with the Tri-colours ending with the wooden spoon in 2009.

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