State of Origin: Michael Maguire to replace Brad Fittler as NSW coach

Michael Maguire has been given the task of righting the NSW State of Origin ship and is set to replace Brad Fittler as the Blues coach.

The NSW Rugby League has offered Maguire the job on with a one-year deal and the Canberra Raiders, where he’s serving as an assistant coach, have given their blessing.

Maguire, who won the 2014 NRL premiership with South Sydney and has 233 games of experience through his stint at the West Tigers, got the nod over Broncos assistant coach and former NSW player John Cartwright.

Maguire is also the New Zealand Test coach and received support to take on the NSW role from Matthew Johns earlier this week after his name emerged as a candidate.

“I would have no problem appointing a coach who has a club affiliation because I think you need to be coach fit,” Johns told SEN.

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“You’ve got to be ready to make those tough decisions, deal with scenarios on the run and have the strength of personality to be used to ringing players and saying, ‘Listen, I like what you’re about but apologies I’m not going to pick you in the side’.

“Head coaches are used to doing that, they’re seasoned to do it and for that reason I think Michael Maguire would be a great pick.”

Maguire had previously applied for the role before Fittler’s appointment in 2018.

He is expected to step down from his role with the Raiders.

NSW has lost the past two series under Fittler, who chose not to take up the offer of a one-year deal for 2024.

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