The Broncos reportedly want Wayne Bennett replaced by Craig Bellamy
The Broncos reportedly want Wayne Bennett replaced by Craig Bellamy

Broncos bombshell: Bennett out, Bellamy in

THE Broncos have secretly approached Storm premiership-winning coach Craig Bellamy about returning to Brisbane to take over from Wayne Bennett on a four-year deal worth more than $5 million.

In a bombshell development, Fox Sports can reveal the Broncos have been in negotiations with Bellamy for at least the past month.

The move casts a shadow of uncertainty on the future of seven-time premiership-winning coach Wayne Bennett, who is contracted to the Broncos until the end of next season.

Fox Sports has been told the Broncos have discussed Bellamy returning to Red Hill to take over as early as next season - which could mean Bennett being asked to walk away from the club.

But the exact timing of Bellamy's possible appointment the top job at the Broncos remains unclear. He could feasibly sit out the 2019 season and then take over when Bennett's contract expires at the end of next season.

The news will have huge ramifications at both clubs, with the Storm currently in negotiations to try and convince Bellamy to remain in Melbourne beyond this year.

The Broncos are currently in the midst of the longest premiership drought in the club's history while the Storm have been considered the benchmark club during Bellamy's tenure.

With $12 million sitting in the bank, the Broncos are one of the most powerful club's in the NRL and basically have an open cheque book when it comes to signing a head coach.

Ironically, Bellamy started his career at the Broncos in 1998 after being approached by Bennett to take the role as the club's head conditioner at a barbecue at Kevin Walters' house in Brisbane.

Bellamy then served five years under the seven-time premiership-winner, with the plan always being for Bellamy to one day take control at Red Hill. 

That dream ended when Bellamy moved to the Storm and built a ruthless juggernaut in the Victorian capital.

In their tenure as head coaches, Bellamy and Bennett have locked horns on numerous occasions over the Storm's style of tactics.

They have fallen out time and again, most notably when Alex McKinnon was left in a wheelchair in 2014.

At the Melbourne Storm, Bellamy has been conditioning his assistant coach Adam O'Brien to take over for the past couple of years and Melbourne have a ready-made replacement if the head coach decides to leave.

Bellamy's record is the best of any coach in the NRL.

Since taking control at the Melbourne Storm in 2003, Bellamy has coached 406 NRL games for 275 wins, 129 losses and two draws for a 67.7 per cent win ratio.

The Melbourne Storm coach is 58-years-old and has led the Storm to premierships in 2012 and 2016.

Bennett, 68, who started coaching in 1987 with the Canberra Raiders before taking control at the Broncos in 1988, will coach his 800th NRL match against the Parramatta Eels on Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium.

The coach who guided the Broncos to premierships in 1992, 93, 97, 98, 2000 and 2006 has coached 799 matches for 495 wins, 290 losses and 14 draws for a 62 per cent win ratio.