Bennett a hit with England players

Laine Clark
AAP
Wayne Bennett has proven a hit with England players ahead of the Rugby League World Cup.

Affable is not usually a word associated with Wayne Bennett.

But England star Jermaine McGillvary claims Bennett has been a social hit with the players ahead of the rugby league World Cup, regularly spotted sitting at the back of the team bus sharing yarns.

Bennett has been at his taciturn best with the media before England kicks off their Cup campaign against defending champions Australia in Melbourne on Friday week.

However, Huddersfield winger McGillvary revealed another side to the poker faced Australian mentor.

"Everyone thinks he's just like he is portrayed in the media but he's a completely different person to that," he told rugby-league.com website.

"He sits on the back of the bus with the boys and we share stories with him and he shares stories with us.

"He's a guy all the boys want to play for, his man management is second to none and his coaching style is excellent."

Bennett's Midas touch has not been questioned despite a disappointing start to his English stint at last year's Four Nations.

Considered a chance to finally threaten the Kangaroos, England were thrashed 36-18 by Australia in the semi-finals last November.

"After that defeat to Australia, we had a good talk in the changing room for a good half hour to an hour," said McGillvary, who has scored five tries in six Tests for England.

"We thought we didn't start too bad.

"We matched them but we got complacent and got bored of going through the processes and we tried to invent things up whilst the Australians stuck to their game plan and ground us down."

England also fell at the semi-final hurdle at the last World Cup, suffering a late loss to New Zealand in 2013.

England have never won the tournament.

Great Britain won the last of their three Cups in 1972.

England - captained by Sean O'Loughlin - also play France and Lebanon in the group stage.