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Michael Maguire in brutal Kiwis development amid appointment as NSW Origin coach

New Zealand Rugby League are reportedly considering sacking the coach.

Pictured NZ winning Pacific Championships left and Michael Maguire right
The New Zealand Rugby League are said to be considering sacking Michael Maguire. Image: Getty

Reports suggest New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) are considering sacking Michael Maguire after a powerful group of ex-Kiwi players are pushing for him to go. Maguire recently led the Kiwis to Pacific Championships glory, where they flogged the Kangaroos 30-0 in the final to be crowned champions.

However, The Daily Telegraph reports the NZRL board are set to make a decision on his coaching future in the coming weeks, with Maguire expected to front the panel and plead his case. NZRL CEO Greg Peters said Maguire will get his chance to outline why he believes he should retain his job as Kiwis coach while also taking the position as NSW head coach.

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It is understood former New Zealand representatives have voiced their concerns about how Maguire taking the Origin job will assist in the development of Australia’s rugby league talent, thus creating a conflict of interest as Australia is the Kiwi's biggest international rival.

If Maguire is relieved of his post, Nathan Cayless and Stacey Jones are reportedly being viewed as the leading replacement options. Cayless is currently Maguire's assistant coach, while Jones is a highly respected figure within New Zealand rugby league.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 16: Kiwis coach Michael Maguire watches warm up during a New Zealand Kiwis league training session at The Trusts Arena on October 16, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
Maguire says he has unfinished business with the Kiwis after their semi-final exit from last year's World Cup adding that his focus on New Zealand remains unwavering. Image: Getty (Fiona Goodall via Getty Images)

Peters told News Corp that a board meeting will be scheduled over the next few weeks. “It will be either this week or the following week, it will come down to the board meeting,” Peters said. “Michael will have some things to say to the board."

“The board will consider a number of views that have been expressed and also the current playing group and also Michael. There are a number of factors that the board will consider when it makes its final decision. We love Madge (Maguire), we’re not considering options at the moment.”

The Blues are understood to have delayed the announcement of Maguire as Brad Fittler's replacement out of respect for the NZRL board, allowing them to first resolve their situation.

Michael Maguire eager to stay as NZ coach despite Blues job

Maguire took over the New Zealand side after a disastrous World Cup campaign in 2017 that ended with a loss to Fiji in the quarter-finals. The former Wests Tigers coach signed a contract extension to remain with New Zealand until the end of 2025 but his future as NZ coach is unclear.

Last month Maguire reiterated that he's "fully focused" on the Kiwis, despite being set to be offered the NSW State of Origin job. "I am 100 per cent committed with the boys, we've done a lot of work to get to this point and I don't plan on anything getting in the way of what we're focused on," Maguire said.

Maguire says he has unfinished business with the Kiwis after their semi-final exit from last year's World Cup, adding that his focus on New Zealand remains unwavering. "One hundred per cent, I'm going to the (2026) World Cup," Maguire said. "I can assure you now, that's my plan. You've got to be successful as a coach, to be able to go to where we want to get to.

"That is my plan and I want nothing more than to be able to stand with the players and achieve that (World Cup success). I won't lie, it hurt not to be able to do it overseas (at last year's World Cup) and that's the driving factor of where I sit right now."

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