Legend Platt fears Bennett may walk away

England Rugby League Head Coach Wayne Bennett
England Rugby League Head Coach Wayne Bennett

Former Saints and Wigan legend Andy Platt fears that England boss Wayne Bennett may quit in the wake of a revolt against his planned winter break in Dubai.

The camp was cancelled earlier this week after protest from Super League clubs on the effect it would have on the domestic pre-season programme and no one was more critical than Saints’ boss Keiron Cunningham

Can you imagine if Australia had not won the Four Nations and Mal Meninga called for a similar camp in Dubai? I would dare say he would get his way

Andy Platt

Platt, who started his senior career at St Helens in the early 1980s before joining neighbours Wigan, told AAP: “Bennett is a man who usually gets what he wants and if he doesn’t he is usually out of there,

“That’s what he does. He identifies what needs to be done and when he doesn’t get it he might put it in the too-hard basket, which would be sad.”

Bennett had already picked 17 players to attend a fortnight-long camp in late January in a head start for the 2017 World Cup, after England crashed out in the end-of-year Four Nations semi-finals.

The Aussie icon had stressed the camp and a mid-season internationalin May were essential parts of his World Cup plan.

However, in an embarrassing about-face, ruling body the Rugby Football League backed down on the camp after Super League coaches complained about the pre-season disruption.

And Platt - who earned 25 British caps from 1985-93 - predicted more friction from SL clubs for Bennett.

“He has the ability to change any side but he needs to be able to do what he needs to do,” Platt said of Bennett, who is contracted to England until next year’s World Cup.

“But will he get the backing of the clubs? Probably not. In the UK, the clubs rule the roost.

“It’s been going on for years - even back in my day. I think it will be a hard road for him.”

Platt slammed the RFL’s decision to pander to club bosses and scrap the camp as “short-sighted”.

“If you do the same thing you get the same results,” he said.

“You have to change something and he (Bennett) has highlighted something and all of a sudden he hits a roadblock.

“It is short-sighted from the England point of view.

“Can you imagine if Australia had not won the Four Nations and Mal Meninga called for a similar camp in Dubai? I would dare say he would get his way.”

Bennett must now concentrate on England’s World Cup warm-up Test in May - a clash with Samoa in Sydney.

But Billinge-born Platt could not see any club-versus-country solution in sight for Bennett.

“Not without the clubs kicking and screaming,” he declared.