EVEN some of the world’s elite rugby league players never get the chance to be coached by Wayne Bennett, but kids from Tamworth schools enjoyed that great privilege yesterday.
The legendary coach and some of his Newcastle staff stuck around after Knights training at Scully Park to meet kids from Tamworth and Peel high schools and McCarthy Catholic College and run them through some footy drills.
Bennett finished the day by appearing at a function at TRECC last night where he spoke to guests, but admitted before the dinner he had no idea what he was going to talk about.
Fortunately, when Bennett speaks, people listen – even if he doesn’t speak as much as some.
The Knights’ visit culminates with tonight’s game against Cronulla at Scully Park where local fans will get to see the likes of Paul Gallen, Kurt Gidley, Beau Ryan and Aku Uate in full flight.
Bennett said the four-day stay in Tamworth so far had been “wonderful” and his squad had acclimatised and trained well, but admitted he hadn’t seen the Golden Guitar.
The Sharks arrived in the city late yesterday, except for the four players who had been touring the area for the past two days.
Todd Carney and his mates visited Werris Creek and Quirindi schools yesterday as part of the NRL’s One Community Carnival.
Before the game tonight a group of Knights and Sharks players will stop in at the Tamworth Minor League registration day at the Plain Street fields from about 10am. The first action on the park is at 4.45pm when the under 20s trial kicks off. The main game is at 7.30pm.