Former South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL coach Michael Maguire will today be confirmed as the new Kiwis coach after reportedly signing a four-year deal with the New Zealand Rugby League.
A report out of Australia last night declared the 44-year-old had made a long-term commitment to get the Kiwis back on track following last year's abysmal World Cup campaign under former coach David Kidwell.
NRL 360's James Hooper also believes Maguire is capable of juggling his international duties along with that of a club coaching job, should he be offered another shot with an NRL club.
Maguire's signing has been widely reported since the weekend but it's understood the NZRL and Maguire have spent the past few days finalising the detail around his contract.
"Tomorrow it will be announced, he signed a four-year partnership deal with the New Zealand Rugby League," Hooper said on Wednesday.
"So he's not just going in for a fly-by-night appointment just to waltz in and keep the seat warm until he gets an NRL gig. I think he'll do both."
A four-year contract would see Maguire in charge of the New Zealand test side through to the end of the 2021 World Cup in England.
His first assignment looms in six weeks however, with the Kiwis scheduled to play England in a historic test in Denver on June 23.
Later this year the Kiwis will also play a home test against Australia in Auckland on October 13, before travelling to play a three-test series against England in Hull, Liverpool and Leeds, and a one-off test against France.
Maguire has been vocal with his interest for the job, telling NRL360 a fortnight ago that the Kiwis coaching role was an opportunity which had long piqued his interest.
"The international game has always appealed to myself to build, especially [a team] of New Zealand's calibre, would be a great experience," Maguire said.
Former NRL coaches Geoff Toovey and Des Hasler were also interviewed for the Kiwis coaching position, along with former NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley.
Former Kiwis captain Dean Bell headed the NZRL's coaching appointment panel, along with former New Zealand coach Frank Endacott, ex-Warriors skipper Monty Betham, and former Silver Ferns netball coach Waimarama Taumaunu are understood to have been impressed with Maguire.
Maguire spent five years at the Redfern-based Rabbitohs but was sacked last year after a dreadful campaign that saw the side manage just nine wins from 24 games.
This season he had been working for the NRL as their high performance coach for referees.
He previously enjoyed success in his first season with Wigan when he claimed a Super League title win in 2010, and followed up with a Challenge Cup victory the following season.
Kiwis' 2018 test programme
Saturday 23 June 2018; Kiwis v England; Denver, Colorado, USA
Saturday 13 October 2018; Kiwis v Australia; Auckland, NZ
Saturday 27 October 2018; England v Kiwis; Hull, England
Saturday 3 November 2018; England v Kiwis; Liverpool, England
Sunday 11 November 2018; England v Kiwis; Leeds, England
Saturday 17 November 2018; France v Kiwis; venue TBC