World Number 1 Status means nothing going into the World Cup according to New Zealand boss Michael Maguire

Michael Maguire is best known in Great Britain for his superb two-year tenure as Wigan coach.

After 12 years without a title, Maguire revolutionised the Warriors in 2010 making good on the untapped potential of the club over the previous decade to turn them into Champions once more after a dominant campaign in which the club finished top of the pile before vanquishing rivals St Helens at Old Trafford 22-10.

A year later, the Warriors continued to be one of the benchmark sides in the league winning the Challenge Cup at Wembley at the expense of Leeds before finishing second in the table. He left the club after that but the values he introduced over those two years formed the backbone of Shaun Wane’s amazing tenure in the Wigan hot seat when he took over in 2012 having been Maguire’s assistant.

Thus, it should be interesting if and when Wane and Maguire meet in next year’s World Cup. It stands to reason that, after their disappointing 2017 World Cup campaign, Maguire could turn them into world champions again 14 years since their success in Australia back in 2008. After all, it’s a similar task to the one he had at Wigan, and like at the DW Stadium, he’s taken the Kiwis to the top with New Zealand currently sitting top of the world rankings a position they’ve held since the end of 2019.

But Maguire has dismissed the importance of this in an interview with NRL.com. Instead he seemed to focus on the player development he hopes to oversee in the next 12 months having once upon a time helped develop plenty of Wigan’s finest youngsters such as Josh Charnley and of course Sam Tomkins.

He also noted how, due to the nature of the tournament, what they’ve achieved in the past means very little and instead the Kiwis must focus on each performance during their World Cup campaign: “The players are very proud of what they have been able to do up to this point, but we also know that they are going to be judged on every game and every performance.

“We have got to make sure that we take that confidence and belief about what we have been doing to this point, but also know the challenges of going into a World Cup.

“You have got to be the best prepared, you have got to make sure that everything is in place so we can build right into that first game and play some very good footy.”

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