McGuire set­tles into new habi­tat

The Weekend Post - - Sport - JON TUXWORTH

BIG-NAME Cow­boys sign­ing Josh McGuire says he ap­proached the Bron­cos to seek a re­lease from his con­tract and “needed a change”, but re­mains tight-lipped on how he will be used in North Queens­land’s all-star pack.

Af­ter 10 years of first grade at Bris­bane, the in­ter­na­tional for­ward avoided the coach­ing cir­cus which en­gulfed Red Hill when he signed with the Cow­boys on a four-year deal.

The move has been win­win, with the 28-year-old able to se­cure his long term fu­ture while free­ing up salary cap space for the Bron­cos to re­sign Matt Lodge, Te­vita Pan­gai and Corey Oates.

McGuire in­sists he holds no ill-will to­wards the Bron­cos and needed a change of scenery to re­vi­talise his ca­reer.

“I went to the club (Bris­bane) and said I needed a change, the (Cow­boys) op­por­tu­nity arose, I couldn’t refuse and I took it,” McGuire said.

“I needed a change and it’s a great club, it’s been a breath of fresh air to come up here. I have no ill thoughts of the Bron­cos, I love that club and I will al­ways have a soft spot for it in my heart, but I’m very ex­cited to be part of the Cow­boys and a fresh start.

“I’d been there (Bris­bane) since I was 15 years old. I played 10 years of first grade there so for my­self and my fam­ily, it felt like it was the right time for me to step away for an­other op­por­tu­nity.

“I’m just glad ev­ery­thing’s been re­solved down there. I’ve got a lot of good mates there so it’s good to see the club’s back on track.

“These things hap­pen in sport, it’s a busi­ness and I’m glad to be part of an or­gan­i­sa­tion that’s re­ally set­tled up here, and know what we’re work­ing to­wards.”

While he will add some ag­gres­sion to the Cow­boys pack, what role McGuire will play re­mains a mys­tery.

He has played al­most ex­clu­sively at lock for the last two sea­sons but un­less Ja­son Tau­malolo is shifted to the back row, which seems un­likely, he looks set to play front row. It may force Matt Scott to the bench, a role the stal­wart prop has al­ready de­clared he’s happy to fill.

“Greeny (coach Paul Green) has a role for me I’m go­ing to play,” McGuire said.

“Ev­ery­one just has to wait and see what hap­pens in the game and how it works out, but I’m ex­cited to be up here and ex­cited about my role in the team. I’ll just play wher­ever Greeny wants me to play.

“We’ve had dis­cus­sions about how my role is go­ing to work in this team and I’m ex­cited about it. I think it fits me and the club re­ally well.”

He said the squad is des­per­ate to right the wrongs of last sea­son where they fin­ished 13th with just eight wins.

“Ex­pec­ta­tions are al­ways high when you’re a pro- fes­sional rugby league player, the ex­pec­ta­tions come when you’re at such a pres­ti­gious and high qual­ity club like the Cow­boys,” McGuire said.

“Ob­vi­ously a lot of the boys are dis­ap­pointed with how last year went for them.”

McGuire is pleased his home­com­ing against the Bron­cos at Sun­corp will be in his rear view mirror af­ter round two.

Pic­tures: ZAK SIM­MONDS

RIGHT TIME: Josh McGuire in ac­tion at Cow­boys train­ing.

LOOK­ING FOR­WARD: The many moods of North Queens­land Cow­boys star re­cruit Josh McGuire dur­ing a me­dia call at the Townsville Sports Re­serve.

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