Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has confirmed an approach from the Rugby Football League over the England coaching vacancy.
The 66-year-old, who is the most successful coach in Australian rugby league history with seven grand final wins, is thought to have been earmarked to take over from Steve McNamara, whose contract ran out at the end of last year.
Rugby Football League chief executive Nigel Wood declined to comment on the England vacancy but said an announcement was due in February.
Bennett was keen to regain the Kangaroos role that was recently given to Mal Meninga and is set to go up against his rival later this year when England host the 2016 Four Nations Series.
“About five years ago, they first arrived at my doorstep and it was always about finding the right timing,” Bennett told News Corp.
“We haven’t finalised the role. I’ve been offered some opportunities.”
Bennett has had two stints as Australia coach, in 1998 and 2004-05, and was assistant to Stephen Kearney when New Zealand won the 2008 World Cup.
Bennett is currently in charge of the World XIII for the forthcoming NRL All Stars curtain-raiser in Brisbane and will bring his Broncos team to England next month for their World Club Series clash with Wigan on February 20 when the position is likely to be finalised.
“It may be before then, if someone picks up the phone in the next week, the next couple of days,” Bennett added.
“I have to find out what I want to do and how they see me involved.
“I’ve told the Broncos what I’m doing and the people who matter are across it – they are totally supportive of it, as they were of me when I applied for the Australian coaching job.
“I could do the Australian job without impinging on what I was doing with the Broncos. It is the absolute priority for me.”