McGuire settles into new habitat
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.
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.