NRL CEO Dave Smith Voices Support For Newcastle Coach Wayne Bennett
National Rugby League CEO Dave Smith said that he hoped "seven-time premiership winning coach Wayne Bennett would remain at Newcastle to help the club evolve post Nathan Tinkler," according to Margie McDonald of NEWS LIMITED. Smith said he had been in "constant contact with Bennett as the club moved from under the shadow of Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group into a new entity and a revamped board of directors." But Bennett "has stated he will not decide his future" until he sees the "make-up of the new board." The NRL is formulating a "new board of seven: one community representative nominated by the Members Club, two shareholder representatives initially from the NRL and four independent directors" (NEWS LIMTED, 7/9). In Sydney, Brad Walter reported Smith has backed Cronulla's decision to "sack Todd Carney and placed players 'on notice' that there would be 'consequences' if they damaged the reputation of the code." A spokesperson confirmed that NRL Appeals Committee Chairman Ian Callinan would "consider an application by Carney for leave to appeal the termination" of his A$3.5M ($3.3M), five-year contract. Smith: "I am right behind the process that has taken place so far" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 7/8). In Canberra, Jon Tuxworth reported the Canberra Raiders want to become "just the second NRL team with two female board members as the NRL takes steps to make female representation on club boards compulsory to help clean up the game's image." Canberra Raiders Chair Allan Hawke confirmed the club is "investigating suitable female candidates" to join Raiders Group CFO Yvonne Gillett, who was elected onto an eight-person board this year. The Raiders have one board spot vacant and Hawke confirmed they have "identified a number of female candidates worthy of filling the position" (CANBERRA TIMES, 7/8).