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Bennett lends Wallabies a hand

ONE of rugby league's most successful coaches Wayne Bennett will help the Wallabies in preparations ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

The Dragons coach, who aided the Kiwis to World Cup success in 2008, has been asked to provide the Wallabies with insights into how to succeed at major tournaments, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Wallabies assistant coach Jim Williams says he has approached Bennett and the league super coach is set to help out the 1991 and 1999 World Cup champions.

Bennett, who helped New Zealand to a stunning 34-20 victory over Australia in the Rugby League World Cup final in 2008, says unwavering belief is the key ingredient for an underdog to win a major tournament.

"From the head coach down to the trainer and the players, everybody has got to believe," he notes.

The Kiwis widely credited Bennett with improving their attitude and approach ahead of the World Cup and instilling in them an unshakable self-belief.

"He kept telling us that we had the talent, we had the ability and as long as we believed in the game-plan and had faith in each other to execute it then we would win," Kiwis centre Jerome Ropati told the New Zealand Herald after the 2008 World Cup final.

Williams, who has been Robbie Deans' assistant for three years, is keen to further his personal development as a coach by bouncing ideas off Bennett and former Warriors and Kiwis coach Daniel Anderson.

"[Anderson], Wayne Bennett, those are the kinds of blokes you need exposure to.. They have a background of winning and creating teams of character.

"Just chatting to those guys will be invaluable. I haven't [spoken to Bennett] yet ... you want to be exposed to the best people in sport. I'm blessed to have Robbie as a coach and if I can keep getting exposed to different sports and different areas, it can only help you."

The Wallabies coaching staff have been busy analysing this seasons' performances of Australian teams against their Kiwi and South African counterparts in the Super 15.

"It's been a little bit inconsistent here and there, they're well documented, some of the teams having issues on and off the field," Williams says.

"I think they've worked really hard to bond tight and stick together as a team. Obviously the Reds are doing quite well ... they've got a lot of the Kiwi sides coming up: the Crusaders, Highlanders and Blues. It will be interesting to see where they are at the end of the round robin."


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