FORMER Widnes Vikings man Jason Demetriou will succeed Wayne Bennett as head coach of South Sydney, the Rabbitohs have announced.

Demetriou, 44, who spent his entire 13-year professional playing career in England and cut his coaching teeth at Keighley in 2011, was assistant to Bennett at Brisbane and followed him to Souths 12 months ago.

The Sydney club announced on Friday that Bennett, who has been succeeded as England head coach by Shaun Wane, will relinquish his job with the club when his contract expires at the end of 2021.

A statement said: "The South Sydney Rabbitohs have confirmed that current assistant coach Jason Demetriou has agreed to terms on a contract extension with a view to succeeding Wayne Bennett as head coach of the club post the 2021 season, a plan which has been in place since Bennett's appointment at the club."

Demetriou moved to England in December 1999 and played for the now-defunct Lancashire Lynx, Rochdale and Widnes before joining Wakefield in 2004.

He went on to make 188 appearances for Trinity and captained the team for five of his seven seasons at Belle Vue before becoming player-coach of Keighley and guiding them to promotion to the Championship