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Reticent Bennett slammed by English media

AAPAAP 7/11/2016 Ian McCullough

England head coach Wayne Bennett © Danny Lawson/PA Wire/PA Images England head coach Wayne Bennett

Wayne Bennett has been labelled a disrespectful by sections of the English media following another terse post-match TV interview.

England were less than convincing in their come-from-behind 38-12 success over a gallant Scotland in Sunday's Four Nations encounter at Coventry.

However, it was the seven-time premiership winner, not his players, who came under fire after an interview with the BBC's Tanya Arnold where he once again responded to her questions with a series of curt responses.

"This country is at a crossroads with what we do with the international game," said former Super League winger Jon Wells, who was co-commentating on the game for BBC Radio.

"I think that interview was nothing short of a disgrace.

"He's treated a very professional broadcaster with disrespect.

"He's been asked questions in good faith. He might not be happy with the result, but you've got to front up as a head coach."

Bennett was appointed by the English RFL on a lucrative two-year contract earlier this year in an effort to raise the profile of a sport that lags well behind football, cricket and rugby outside of its northern heartlands.

His refusal to talk to the media during a four-day visit during the Super League season frustrated his paymasters and his reticence to promote the game has puzzled the rugby league community.

"It's a difficult job to take and at a difficult time," Wells said.

"Wayne must know, he's an internationalist and an expansionist, so he understands the lay of the land.

"It's not just about putting on a good training session and motivating your players.

"You're an ambassador for the sport in this country. We're trying to get more people watching and listening to this game."

Harris, a stand-out player for Great Britain and Wales during a stellar career, echoed Wells' sentiments.

"When he first came over here mid-season during the Super League, he was here for four days and didn't speak to the press," Harris told the BBC.

"He is the Alex Ferguson of the NRL. He's come over here to promote the game and taken it to another level with his profile.

"He has a responsibility to do those types of interview and grow our our game.

"I thought that interview was shocking."

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