Ex-Wigan Warriors boss told to step aside so that legendary figure can replace him

Michael Maguire is one of the most accomplished coaches around.

He ended Wigan Warriors’ 12 year wait for Grand Final glory in 2010 and in a two year spell won every trophy on offer at the DW Stadium.

Then at South Sydney Rabbitohs he ended their own long wait for glory in 2014 and he has now revitalised New Zealand.

After they were shockingly dumped out of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup by Fiji, the Kiwis climbed to world number one and were ten times better in the recent World Cup defeating Fiji in the quarter-finals and very nearly defeating favourites Australia in the semi-finals in the game of the tournament.

He has changed the culture in the New Zealand camp including their style of play to be much better at battling for wins.

He has developed some of the next great stars of the sport in the shape of Dylan Brown and Jahrome Hughes.

However, he has been told by New Zealand publication Stuff to step aside and allow former Catalans Dragons star and legendary Kiwi Stacey Jones to replace him.

They said:

“Michael Maguire should be thanked for all the great work he’s done with the Kiwis team over the last five years, but it’s time for New Zealand Rugby League to move on and give the head coach’s job to Stacey Jones.

“With the dust settled on the Rugby League World Cup, plans need to be put in place quicker than normal as there are only three years before the next tournament begins in France.

“As there will no longer be any mid-year tests, that just leaves the end of next season and the one after that to get the team ready to take on the Kangaroos again and become world champions for the first time since 2008. So possibly just eight tests between World Cups.

“The first decision the NZRL need to make is who will lead the team to France 2025 and while Maguire has done a magnificent job in turning around the Kiwis after the shambles of the 2017 World Cup, his time as the New Zealand head coach should probably come to an end.”

Maguire has taken on a role at the Canberra Raiders in 2023 after leaving Wests Tigers.

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