Great Britain Lions: Coach Wayne Bennett 'not interested' in tenure criticism

Wayne Bennett's contract with the Rugby Football League runs out at the end of the 2019 Great Britain Lions tour
Wayne Bennett's contract with the Rugby Football League runs out at the end of the 2019 Great Britain Lions tour

Great Britain coach Wayne Bennett says he is "not interested" in criticism of his tenure despite three straight defeats during the Lions' 2019 tour.

Bennett, 69, has overseen their loss to Tonga as well as losing the two-Test series against New Zealand.

The Australian, who is also England coach, is out of contract after Saturday's Test in Papua New Guinea.

"If criticism helped me then I'd read it, but it doesn't," Bennett told BBC Radio 5 Live.

He added: "I haven't read a thing and I'm not interested. We've had three world-class teams in the national field and what's the biggest losing margin? Eight or 10 points?"

The pressure has been put on Bennett after a tour which has seen the Lions struggle to improve, but Rugby Football League rugby director Kevin Sinfield previously claimed he should not just be judged on the performances of the tour.

Despite the pressure, when asked whether he still has the appetite to lead England into next year's Ashes series against Australia, as well as the 2021 World Cup on home soil, Bennett was emphatic.

"Nothing has changed for me but the next two years mean everything to us. We haven't lost confidence," he said.

"We're probably putting teams under much more pressure than we have. Defensively we're equal to anybody in the competition. The willingness to go out each week and play for each other is as good as anybody else - whether that's Australia, New Zealand or Tonga.

"We match them in all those areas, we just don't match them in our execution at the moment."

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