Musgrove can be one of NRL's best forwards

Scott Bailey

Michael Maguire has declared Zane Musgrove can be one of the game's best front-rowers as he prepares for his first NRL match in two-and-a-half-seasons.

Musgrove will finally run out for the Wests Tigers in Sunday night's clash with St George Illawarra, after they had first tried to sign him in late 2018.

Still aged only 23, Musgrove has had a horror run off the field.

He was stood down by South Sydney in mid-2018 amid domestic violence charges which were subsequently dropped, before he was fined for destroying property.

His 2019 was ruined when the NRL refused to register his Tigers contract over a charge of assault with an act of indecency, before he was found guilty last October and sentenced to a 12-month intensive corrections order.

Maguire has been his coach at the Rabbitohs and Tigers, after the forward's signing by Souths from New Zealand as a teenager.

"Across life, you make mistakes," Maguire said.

"He's gone away and looked at everything he needed to do to get back into this position."

"That's why I'm proud of him.

"He's a player that hopefully, one day, kids can look at and say, if you go through something of some sorts, you can bounce back and this is another example of that."

And it's for that reason Maguire is confident Musgrove can succeed again at the Tigers.

He will be the Tigers' biggest middle forward on Sunday in Wollongong, and will be asked to add a massive impact off the bench.

"He can be one of the great front-rowers of the game," Maguire said.

"He's just got to make sure he gets on the field and does it consistently.

"He's a big body going forward. I will let him do the talking with the way he plays.

"I think that is something he is focused on - building his body into what he can become.

"To see his resilience he has had to work through, I'm really proud of for him. He has put his head down and got his opportunity."

Maguire is hopeful Moses Mbye will return next week from a knee injury now he is out of a brace, but concedes his comeback will more likely be in round three.