Mal Meninga: Wayne Bennett is trying to undermine me

Mal Meninga. Photo / Doug Sherring.
Mal Meninga. Photo / Doug Sherring.

Australia coach Mal Meninga has accused England boss Wayne Bennett of trying to undermine him in a Brisbane newspaper column.

Last week, upon arriving in England for the Four Nations, Meninga said that Bennett "wants my job", but now has gone a step further, writing a detailed account of their fractured relationship in the Courier Mail.

"It does annoy me that he is in the background chipping away, trying to undermine my authority and my position with the Australian Rugby League," Meninga wrote.

"Maybe it is just a tactical ploy, hoping if he gets under my skin then I will take my focus off the job at hand. It's not working.

"When Wayne says he doesn't want my job, or that we are friends who will embrace after a game, it is just not true.

"I'm a man of my own convictions. I'm not looking for approval from Wayne, nor am I trying to impress him. He's not my mentor. I don't care what he thinks about the job that I do or the results I achieve.

"I don't think he rates me as a coach, but that's OK.

"I know there is a perception that he and I are friends and I guess that is a part of the reason for doing this column - to set the record straight.

"We're not enemies, but we're not friends either. There's no bad blood - there's just no blood at all. There is no relationship there."

Australia opened their Four Nations campaign with a 54-12 win over Scotland in Hull this morning, while England take on the Kiwis in Huddersfield at 2.30am on Sunday (NZT).

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