Musgrove wants stability to repay Tigers

·2-min read

Wests Tigers prop Zane Musgrove has had more false starts than many NRL players but says an honest relationship with Michael Maguire has helped keep his head in the right place.

In the five years since the 24-year-old made his NRL debut with South Sydney, injury and suspensions have kept Musgrove off the field more than he's been on it.

He has played just 33 games.

This season has already got off to a rough start too, missing the first two rounds of the NRL through suspension for a shoulder charge in the All-Stars game last month.

That coming after Musgrove was arrested with teammate AJ Kepoa at the Coogee Bay Hotel in January for failing to leave a licensed premises, although he was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Fronting Maguire would be daunting at the best of times but Musgrove says the coach has helped him ignore the public perception of him and put his energy into playing footy.

"I've been honest with him and I was truthful with him, which I always am. We have a good relationship," Musgrove told AAP.

"If I had done something wrong I would have faced him and faced any punishment I got but I knew I had done nothing wrong, which is why it was frustrating for me.

"The perception of it too that people out there just see what the media has been told.

"It happened and then I got selected for the Maoris, so I went from a bad situation to a positive one."

Musgrove has been named in the Tigers' side for Sunday's game in Newcastle after serving his ban and overcoming a dislocated knuckle from the All-Stars match, which kept his hand in a cast for most of the past month.

It's just the latest in a string of interruptions to his NRL career.

Musgrove didn't play NRL at all in 2018 with the Rabbitohs due to off-field incidents and injury and then he was stood down for 2019 once he signed with the Tigers, after being charged with indecently assaulting a woman at the Coogee Bay Hotel.

He was found guilty and given a 12-month good behaviour bond but successfully appealed to have that decision overturned last year.

In 2020, a foot injury kept him sidelined for all but six games, but he did enough to earn a three-year contract extension with the Tigers.

Musgrove said the only thing he wants for 2021 is stability.

"Definitely, I've just got to stay injury free, that's the only thing with me... I'm just putting my head down and working hard and round three I'll be back," he said.