Bennett Likes Shorter Season Idea

Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer's call for a reduced National Rugby League season to help promote international rugby league has been endorsed by Wayne Bennett, his Broncos coach.

But Bennett, currently in Christchurch to conduct coaching clinics for the Aranui High School sports academy, does not believe it will happen.

Lockyer recommended the season be cut from 24 games to 18 to make space for more test football.

"They should genuinely make an effort. It's dying a slow death at the moment," Lockyer in Leeds.

"I wouldn't disagree with him on that," Bennett said today.

"But I don't think it's going to happen because we have such a strong domestic competition.

"You can certainly achieve in 18 games what you can achieve in 24. But 24 games provide the clubs with a much bigger financial boost."

For Lockyer's call to be implemented, nearly all NRL players would have to face pay cuts.

"The elite players probably wouldn't (lose) because they would be away playing more tests," Bennett said.

"Darren is a very rational thinking young man with a lot of maturity. If he says something like that it's worthwhile listening to. He's at the cutting edge all the time."

Broncos coach since their inception in 1988, Bennett has led a nine-man party to cement his club's ties with Aranui's academy.

Several Aranui players will be chosen to attend the Broncos' summer camp in January, following in the footsteps of academy graduates Robert Tanielu, Jason McDougall, and Joseph Clarke.

"There is a trust between both parties. There are some benefits to the school and some benefits to us," Bennett said