Eden earns NRL start: Bennett

If things had gone as Wayne Bennett predicted, he would’ve caught up with Greg Eden for a coffee while in England for the World Club Series.

Certainly, the veteran coach didn’t expect the 25-year-old winger to still be on Brisbane’s books.

It wasn’t because Eden didn’t have the talent.

Bennett just didn’t expect him to hang around after being overlooked for an NRL start during his first 12 months at the club.

As it stands, Bennett says he’ll be picking the England-born speedster for the Broncos’ round one NRL clash with Parramatta.

Eden, who played 74 games in four seasons of Super League before joining the Broncos last year, cemented his spot on the right wing with a standout performance in Saturday’s 42-12 thrashing of Wigan in the World Club Series.

He produced two 80m runs down the right flank, the first of which finished with him being chased down by livewire Wigan fullback Lewis Tierney – the son of former dual international Jason Robinson.

Eden wouldn’t be denied a second time around, however, and after being put into some space following a clever pass from Anthony Milford he scored his first try for Brisbane in a competitive match.

It drew a smile from Bennett, who was delighted at Eden’s perseverance over the past 15 months.

“I was really pleased with him,” Bennett said.

“”He had to earn opportunity (against Wigan). He had get my trust and respect and it’s been 15 months in the making.

“To his credit he stayed last year when he didn’t get an opportunity.

“I thought he’d go back to England but he didn’t, he hung in.

“We all knew he was talented but he had to prove some other things to me.”

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