England: Wayne Bennett's pre-season Dubai training camp cancelled

Wayne Bennett
Wayne Bennett splits his time between coaching England and NRL side Brisbane Broncos

England have cancelled a proposed warm-weather pre-season training camp in Dubai in January following consultation with Super League clubs.

The trip was to have formed part of the preparations for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, which begins in October.

Australia-based head coach Wayne Bennett, 66, was keen on the camp as it would have given him extra time to work with his Super League-based players.

He will now meet up with the squad again for a Test against Samoa in May.

A number of head coaches, including Keiron Cunningham of St Helens and Warrington's Tony Smith expressed concerns about the timing of the camp, particularly given the late end to the season experienced by players involved in the autumn's Four Nations tournament.

An England Rugby League statement said: "The England coaching staff and RFL have reflected on all views and concluded the plans now in place would not deliver what was initially expected."

Bennett's twin responsibilities

Bennett, who spends the large majority of his time coaching club side Brisbane Broncos in Australia's National Rugby League, was enthusiastic about a pre-season camp as it would have provided additional opportunity to observe his players at close hand.

The coaching icon relies on his England-based personnel - Widnes head coach Denis Betts, ex-Huddersfield head coach Paul Anderson and former St Helens back-rower Paul Sculthorpe - for regular feedback.

Bennett's first experience as England's part-time head coach brought wins against France and Scotland, but also defeats by New Zealand and Australia in the key Four Nations games.

England face France, Lebanon and co-hosts Australia in their World Cup group.

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