Incoming Dolphins assistant coach Kristian Woolf has revealed the opportunity to work under Wayne Bennett was one of the deciding factors in choosing the newest NRL club.
Current St Helens coach Woolf was a man in demand, sought for a head coaching position by at least three other NRL clubs.
However he has agreed to be Bennett’s right-hand man for the next two years before taking over as the Dolphins’ head coach.
Ever conscious of the details, Woolf did his due diligence on all the offers that came his way, with one NRL club even flying to England to court him.
But in the end the chance to work with the greatest grand final-winning coach of all time, and the history, resources and infrastructure the Dolphins already possess made up his mind.
“It was a matter of looking at the opportunities that were in Australia and figure out which one of them was the best in terms of my career,” said Woolf from England.
“I had conversations with different people but the Dolphins was the right one. It’s very well resourced, there’s a massive junior base and a massive area to build on.
“Working with Wayne (Bennett) was a big part of that as well. I’ve learned a hell of a lot as a coach over here, and it’s made me a better coach.
Going over and doing a couple of years with Wayne, and then being able to succeed him is obviously a terrific opportunity.Kristian Woolf
Woolf has already had huge success in his career after working as an assistant at the Cowboys, Broncos and Knights.
He has spearheaded the evolution of Tonga into a rugby league powerhouse on the international stage, recording wins over Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand.
He has coached St Helens to the last two English Super League premierships, and tomorrow (note: Saturday)has the chance to put them into their third-straight grand final with a semi-final win over Salford.
Woolf will coach Tonga at the Rugby League World Cup that begins in England next month before moving his family back to Queensland to begin his tenure with the Dolphins.