Michael Maguire has been confirmed as the next NSW State of Origin men’s coach on a multi-year deal.
The premiership-winning NRL coach left his post at New Zealand’s national side last week to free himself up for the Blues, who announced the appointment at a press conference in Sydney on Thursday.
Maguire’s coaching staff was also confirmed with John Cartwright (Brisbane), Matt King (Sydney Roosters) and Brett White (Gold Coast) named as his assistants, while long-time Melbourne Storm Football Manager Frank Ponissi will be the Blues’ Team Performance Manager.
The NSW Rugby League first approached Maguire last month after back-to-back series defeats led Fittler to step down after six years at the helm.
Maguire has coached the Kiwis since 2018 and will remain an assistant to Ricky Stuart at NRL side Canberra.
He previously guided South Sydney to their drought-breaking 2014 premiership triumph and was head coach of Wests Tigers for three-and-a-half seasons until mid-2022.
Earlier this week, Kiwis veteran Kieran Foran told the Herald he believed Maguire could have handled dual coaching roles but also understands why New Zealand Rugby League has opted for its strict stance.
Last Friday Maguire ended his six-year tenure as Kiwis coach after the NZRL decided his Origin coaching ambitions weren’t compatible with leading the Black and White V.
It’s a situation that has split the local league community, especially given the recent success under Maguire and the massive turnaround since the 2017 World Cup.
“Madge is the sort of individual that could have juggled both roles,” Foran told the Herald. “If anyone could have done it he could have. He has got the work ethic and he is professional enough to coach each team with the passion, determination and belief that is needed. Someone of his integrity could have juggled it for sure.
“He could have coached with the same amount of dedication with both roles, because he has shown such a willingness to learn our Kiwi way and Kiwi culture. Coaching New South Wales wouldn’t have hindered his belief and dedication to that role.”
- with AAP