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Michael Maguire will walk away from Wests Tigers $800,000 richer after he was sacked by the NRL club on Tuesday afternoon.
In the midst of another dismal NRL season, with just three wins from 12 outings despite several key off-season signings, the Tigers ended the speculation around their coach by handing him his marching orders.
It had emerged on Monday night that Maguire's days were numbered, and by Tuesday afternoon those reports were confirmed when the Tigers let him go.
The Tigers had surprised much of the NRL world when they opted not to cut ties with Maguire at the end of last season.
Former Australian halfback Brett Kimmorley will take over as interim coach.
Wests Tigers head of football Tim Sheens said the club needed certainty moving forward, and would look to recruit a development coach with the goal of establishing a platform for sustained success.
Sheens said little had changed under Maguire from last season to this season, his first with the Tigers.
“I have had a good look at things over the last week and a half and where we were halfway through the season,” Sheens said.
“Everyone loved to call it a review. I like to think it was a look back at where we were last year when there was issues about Madge being here.
“This was before I got here. In the eight months since things haven’t improved and we are in our fourth year, so in real terms my recommendation was and particularly for this reason:
“We are as most clubs are looking at next season and the season after and our recruitment."
Ultimately, Sheens said he couldn't say Maguire would have remained at the club three years from now had they chosen to remain with him, hence why they decided now was the time to move on.
Wests Tigers open coaching search after Michael Maguire sacking
Sheens would not discuss names, but indicated he wants someone adept at working with the club's array of promising juniors as well as guiding senior players.
Penrith Panthers assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo's name was immediately put forward to Sheens, who insisted that the club was yet to embark on any proper process yet.
Ciraldo has fashioned a reputation as a strong development coach off the back of Penrtith's premiership success, but Sheens said the club would be doing their due diligence.
"Of course (Ciraldo's) name is going to be speculated," Sheens said.
"At the end of the day the usual names will be thrown around.
"We're talking about a development coach here who is prepared to work with young ones as well as give the senior ones a go."
Maguire's exit came as Penrith engage with Ciraldo's management on a contract extension to stay at the club for next year.
The Panthers know Ciraldo will be in great demand given both the Warriors and Canterbury are also searching for replacements after axing their coaches.
But they want to hold on to their defensive mastermind until he believes the right club is there to jump to.
And the Tigers believe they can be an attractive option with the talent in their pipeline.
While Sheens was all but resigned to the club missing the finals for an 11th straight season after winning just three of their opening 12 games, he insisted the future was bright.
If Ciraldo is not the man to take over, former Cronulla coach John Morris would loom as another option given his work with juniors there.
Shane Flanagan and Paul Green also remain on the look out for jobs, while Tonga coach Kristian Woolf and Sydney Roosters assistant Jason Ryles are other options.
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