NRL News 2023 Wayne Bennett


Injured Melbourne Storm mainstay Christian Welch has slammed Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett for criticism of how Cameron Munster handled his contract negotiations.

Despite having more than a year left on his contract, Munster was widely known to be in extensive talks as a potential signing with the Dolphins long before November 1, when NRL rules allow such talks.

Munster announced he had signed a four-year extension with the Storm in early October.

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Bennett criticized Munster’s decision not to call him to let him know he was staying with the Storm.

Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster scores a try. (Asanka Ratnayake/Cameron Munster)

“It’s a tough phone call, it’s a phone call that none of us want to make. But if you want to be a man, then you have to behave like one,” he said during Triple M’s Rush Hour with Leisel Jones, Liam and Dobo.

“It’s hard to tell someone you’re not coming…it’s the price of becoming the man you can be proud of,” Bennett added.

Responding to a Tweet that said calling Bennett would have been the “respectable” and “admirable” thing to do, Welch said the legendary coach showed nothing of the Storm or the game.

“If we’re talking about admirable and respectful, the pre-November 1 approach didn’t show much either,” he said.

“It’s a two-way street…I would say little has been shown to Storm or NRL contract rules to begin with.”

Munster overturned what would have been the richest contract per season ever signed by an NRL player, with News Corp claiming the Dolphins’ final offer was $1.4 million per season over four years.

Welch in action for the Storm in 2021. (Getty)

While the Dolphins had spent months trying to bring the Queensland Origin hero back to his home state on the whopping $5.6million deal, their first head coach said he feared the worst. for some time.

“It was just such a long, procrastinated situation,” Bennett told Triple M’s. Rush hour with Leisel Jones, Liam and Dobbo.

“I never had confidence in the end. At the beginning, yes, but in the end, I had no confidence that he would come.

Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett. (Getty)

“I’m not disappointed, I had prepared for it. I just knew.”

Bennett said the whole process involving communication between him and the Munster manager was “ordinary” and he wanted more players to communicate themselves when making a decision.

“I understand managers and all that – they’re necessary – but what I can’t understand, and what I don’t identify with and struggle with, is the fact that the players, despite all the tough conversations that have to be had are missing,” he said.

“They’re not calling you to tell you they’re not coming. They’re not making that phone call.”

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