Bennett-Dragons reunion tip after Mary axed

Paul McGregor’s sacking as Dragons coach today has opened the door for a romantic return to the Big Red V by supercoach Wayne Bennett.

The Dragons board today officially told McGregor his position was no longer viable after seven volatile years, with Dean Young taking over the reins until season’s end.

The club wants assistant coach Shane Flanagan to succeed McGregor in 2021, but he is barred from having a head coaching job for another 18 months following persistent breaches of the game’s regulations at Cronulla.

That leaves Bennett.

Wayne Bennett and captain Ben Hornby after the Dragons won the 2010 NRL premiership. (Sydney Morning Herald)

The supercoach led the Dragons to a fairytale grand final victory exactly a decade ago and with his time at Souths coming to an end, senior Dragons officials believe he is the man to take the club forward.

“He still has an aura about him and the people at the club love him for what he did in 2010 – he will likely be our first target,” a Dragons insider told Wide World of Sports.

Bennett would be likely to retain Flanagan as his assistant, with the former Sharks coach eventually taking over the reins.

The Dragons will start the search for a new coach immediately, with the likes of Paul Green, Kevin Walters, Craig Fitzgibbon, Jason Ryles and Anthony Griffin also to be considered.

Fitzgibbon, a local junior whose father coached Illawarra, is high on their list but has stated he is happy in his role as assistant coach of the Roosters.

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