Bennett urged to stay on as England coach

Laine Clark

England players have urged Wayne Bennett to remain as coach after their stunning Rugby League World Cup run, with winger Jermaine McGillvary saying he will never speak to the master mentor again if he jumps ship for New Zealand.

Bennett's contract is up at England after guiding them to the Cup final, which they gallantly lost 6-0 to 11-time champions Australia in Brisbane on Saturday night.

It was England's first Cup final appearance since 1995.

McGillvary wanted Bennett to stay, saying England had closed the gap on perennial champions the Kangaroos under the seven time NRL premiership winning mentor.

But he feared Bennett may be lured to New Zealand where incumbent coach David Kidwell faces an uncertain future after the Kiwis crashed out in the quarterfinals.

Kidwell's contract has now expired and he is yet to confirm whether he will re-apply while an independent review into their failed campaign is expected to re-visit the policy that the national coach must be a Kiwi.

"I said to him before 'you better not go to the Kiwis or there will be trouble'," England's try scoring winger McGillvary said.

"I hope he stays on. If he takes that Kiwi job I won't talk to him again. I hope he is offered another deal."

Huddersfield flyer McGillvary has blossomed under Bennett, nominated for the 2017 Golden Boot for world's best player and turning heads with seven Cup tries.

"He has done a lot for me and you ask any of the boys in there, he has improved all the boys," McGillvary said.

"He doesn't care who you are or how much you are on, he will rattle you if you are taking the mickey and he will rip you in front of all the boys.

"He is a great man manager, great tactician, and I hope he stays on."

England prop James Graham joined the chorus for Bennett to stay.

"We got to our first World Cup final in God knows how long - we can take a lot out of that," he said.

"We are gutted we didn't win but there is a sense of achievement to get to that final for the first time in so long.

"I would love for Wayne to continue his job and what he is doing - he has been great for this group, I think that is plain to see."

Bennett, who is also NRL club Brisbane's head coach, wouldn't budge on the subject.

"I am not in a good state to talk about those things," he said.