Infotainment Factory: Bennett: Gagai 'can go at the end of the season'

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Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Bennett: Gagai 'can go at the end of the season'


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South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett says if Dane Gagai wants to leave the Rabbitohs he can exit the club at the end of the season after reports emerged the Maroons star expressed a desire to leave Souths because he doesn't have the opportunity to play centre.

Speaking at South Sydney training on Wednesday, Bennett said he couldn't guarantee Gagai a positional switch and that if he wasn't satisfied he could leave at the end of the season.

Bennett has paired new recruit James Roberts with Kyle Turner in the centres for Saturday’s clash against Penrith at ANZ Stadium, with Gagai named on the wing.

He said he won’t stand in Gagai's if the Maroons star wants to leave Souths to pursue opportunities to play centre elsewhere.

Wayne Bennett

“I’ve had a chat with Dane. I said, ‘Mate, if you want to go, you can go at the end of the season’,” Bennett said.

“The bottom line is Dane tells me he doesn’t want to leave the club.

“He said, ‘Coach I don’t want to leave, I love it here’.

“I said, ‘That’s great ‘Gags’, you can stay, but you are going to have to play on the wing and if an opportunity comes up in the centres, I will put you there’.

“He said he was OK with that, he said he’s good mates with ‘Jimmy’ (Roberts) and has nothing against him and will make it work.

“I’m fine with that.

“Dane is a wonderful player but I’ve told him I can’t play him in the centres and if he really wants to play in the centres, then he can go at the end of the season.

“He was adamant he wanted to stay.”

There have been rumours linking Gagai to the Titans, however, culture-and-performance chief Mal Meninga ruled out any chance of signing Gagai, declaring the club couldn't afford the flyer due to salary-cap constraints.

Bennett said Gagai is a highly valued player in his squad but can't see him moving in from the wing.

“I’m not pushing Dane out,” he said.

“I didn’t start this, I value him highly. He is a wonderful player, but in our squad he is best suited as a winger.”

South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett says if Dane Gagai wants to leave the Rabbitohs he can exit the club at the end of the season after reports emerged the Maroons star expressed a desire to leave Souths because he doesn't have the opportunity to play centre.

Speaking at South Sydney training on Wednesday, Bennett said he couldn't guarantee Gagai a positional switch and that if he wasn't satisfied he could leave at the end of the season.

Bennett has paired new recruit James Roberts with Kyle Turner in the centres for Saturday’s clash against Penrith at ANZ Stadium, with Gagai named on the wing.

He said he won’t stand in Gagai's if the Maroons star wants to leave Souths to pursue opportunities to play centre elsewhere.

Wayne Bennett

“I’ve had a chat with Dane. I said, ‘Mate, if you want to go, you can go at the end of the season’,” Bennett said.

“The bottom line is Dane tells me he doesn’t want to leave the club.

“He said, ‘Coach I don’t want to leave, I love it here’.

“I said, ‘That’s great ‘Gags’, you can stay, but you are going to have to play on the wing and if an opportunity comes up in the centres, I will put you there’.

“He said he was OK with that, he said he’s good mates with ‘Jimmy’ (Roberts) and has nothing against him and will make it work.

“I’m fine with that.

“Dane is a wonderful player but I’ve told him I can’t play him in the centres and if he really wants to play in the centres, then he can go at the end of the season.

“He was adamant he wanted to stay.”

There have been rumours linking Gagai to the Titans, however, culture-and-performance chief Mal Meninga ruled out any chance of signing Gagai, declaring the club couldn't afford the flyer due to salary-cap constraints.

Bennett said Gagai is a highly valued player in his squad but can't see him moving in from the wing.

“I’m not pushing Dane out,” he said.

“I didn’t start this, I value him highly. He is a wonderful player, but in our squad he is best suited as a winger.”

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