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Rugby league legend Jordan Tallis has slammed Wayne Bennett’s failure to turn up for the Dolphins’ debut in Sunday’s NRL competition.

The super coach has been tasked with building the club’s premier NRL roster ahead of the 2023 season and has included a number of experienced players.

The Dolphins drew the Cowboys in their first pre-season challenge encounter, but Bennett was nowhere to be seen, also missing a club trial a week earlier against the Central Queensland Cabras.

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Tallis, who played more than 150 games under Bennett for the Broncos, called his absence “strange” but Dolphin officials believe the 73-year-old had a legitimate reason for not attending.

“Why doesn’t the coach go in the first year (to the club)?” Thales said Footietalk periodic Podcast.

“I was in Gladstone with him last weekend… I’m so impressed with what the dolphins do.

“Wayne was there. He had a really small team, all little kids and [he] They didn’t go to that game either.

“Two weeks in a row (didn’t go).”

Bennett handed the reigns to assistant coaches Christian Wolf and Nathan Finn against the Cowboys and Tallis likened the move to having a substitute teacher at the school.

“I don’t care who you are. Let’s break it into school when your teacher isn’t around and you get a relief teacher, do you work hard?” Tallis said.

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“Maybe there’s a little trick and when his real team runs out, or when the big guys run out (then he’ll be there).

“He’s been around for a very long time so he knows what he’s doing.”

Bennett responded to the criticism by saying, “My priority is the dolphins.”

he told the Courier Mail.

“There is no problem on my end.”

The Dolphin chief executive said Bennett’s absence was due to a training session on Monday and said the plan was always to give the assistants a chance to take charge at trials.

“Wayne has been doing this for decades but I also think some people may have forgotten that 12 of our great players who didn’t play were on the field with Wayne for practice at 7am (Monday morning) in Redcliffe,” said Reeder.


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