'All doors open' for Bennett Origin return

·2-min read

Wayne Bennett is open to another Queensland coaching stint, saying "he's left all the doors open" to choose his next move at the end of the NRL season.

Bennett answered a Maroons SOS last year, returning after a 16-year absence to replace Kevin Walters when he took the NRL job at Brisbane.

And he orchestrated one of the greatest underdog victories before vacating the chair for Paul Green.

The former North Queensland coach has endured two historic losses to begin his reign and was not helped by injuries to a host of key players.

The incredible game-day withdrawal of Ronaldo Mulitalo over eligibility issues didn't do his cause any good either heading into Origin II.

Captain Daly Cherry-Evans appeared out of answers after their 26-0 loss at Suncorp Stadium, admitting the Blues appeared more motivated to win the series.

Green is on a one-year deal with Queensland while Bennett is set to leave South Sydney at the end of this season and likely to have a hand in establishing a new NRL outfit, if expansion is approved in south-east Queensland.

"I'm at a stage that I've left all the doors open," he said when asked about his interest in the Queensland job.

"I have no idea what the future holds for me in rugby league at the moment.

"I think I've got a future somewhere but will see how it all unfolds and I'm not worried about it.

'At the end of the footy season I'll look at what options are around, the possibilities for me and where I think I can make a difference and if I can then I'll make the next decision."

Green's task to avoid a 3-0 sweep won't get any easier after first-choice hooker Harry Grant (hamstring) was ruled out of contention for the July 14 game.

Grant had hoped he would be able to return for the series finale, after going down a week before Game II.

But Melbourne medical staff ruled that option out on Saturday morning, informing the Maroons he would not be fit.

Melbourne have the bye in round 17, but are hoping Grant can return in their clash against Newcastle the Saturday after Game III.

Queensland opted to use Andrew McCullough as starting hooker in Game II and Ben Hunt off the bench.

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