Sam Burgess has hailed Wayne Bennett as an icon of rugby league and is hoping the seven-time premiership winner can do for South Sydney what he has done for his own career.
Bennett will begin life as a Rabbitoh on Tuesday after the long-running saga over the coaching future of South Sydney and Brisbane was finally put to bed.
Many of the Rabbitohs' biggest names including Burgess, Damien Cook, John Sutton, Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker returned for pre-season training on Monday, with Bennett due to take charge of the club's session on Tuesday.
After falling one game short of the grand final this year, Bennett's impending arrival has the squad optimistic the club's 22nd NRL title can be delivered in 2019.
"We're certainly excited that Wayne is coming here, he's iconic in the game," Burgess said.
"I've been fortunate to work with him for years. I know what he brings."
Burgess has worked under Bennett with the English national team since 2016 and praised him for helping him to reach new heights.
After England's 2016 Four Nations defeat to Australia, Bennett publicly sprayed the British enforcer for giving away two crucial penalties before halftime and Burgess said it helped get the best out of himself.
"It's not the first (spray) he's given me and it's probably not the last he'll give me," Burgess said.
"He's an honest guy and he wants you to be the best player that you can be.
"A lot of people thought we fell out over that but we didn't, it's a sign of respect."
The coaching switch followed weeks of talks as Bennett refused to quit without a full payout - his 25 season reign at the Broncos ultimately ended when he was sacked via voicemail on Sunday.
Despite being in regular contract with Bennett, Burgess said up until Sunday he was in the dark as to who would be his coach in 2019.
"I was preparing for Wayne. Last week I was preparing for Seibs. Saturday, Sunday I spent preparing for Seibold. Today I'm preparing for Wayne," Burgess said.
While Seibold can expect a frosty reception from Souths fans when the two clubs meet at ANZ Stadium in round eight, Burgess denied the playing group had turned on their former coach.
"I'm sure he has his own reasons, I respect Seibs, I respect his family," Burgess said.
"I can't say I'm dirty. I've been in that position before and made some decisions myself. It is a business at the end of day and we'll move on."
Souths assistant coach Peter Gentle and head of performance Paul Devlin will follow Seibold to Brisbane.
Broncos assistant coach Jason Demetriou is understood to be in negotiations with Souths and expected to arrive at Redfern with Bennett.