Waerea-Hargreaves form delights Maguire

Daniel Gilhooly
NZ are crossing their fingers Jared Waerea-Hargreaves will carry his NRL form into the Test arena

Michael Maguire says he has no magic recipe to bring the best out of mercurial New Zealand prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves at Test level.

Criticised frequently for failing to lift for the Kiwis, Waerea-Hargreaves shapes as a key figure in the Test against England in Denver on Sunday (AEST).

He, fellow-prop Martin Taupau and hooker Issac Luke form the experienced core in a greenhorn squad.

Maguire knows the trio's performance will be critical but won't say anything special to Waerea-Hargreaves, who is coming off one of his finest NRL showings for the Sydney Roosters.

Last Friday the 29-year-old played 80 minutes in the 32-6 crushing of Penrith, running 244 metres from 26 carries, including nine tackle busts, and making 39 tackles.

"If he can turn on one of those for us, it would be handy," Maguire said.

"He just needs to keep it very simple and play his role.

"He's obviously got a lot of experience and he's probably played some of his best football in the last month for his club."

Waerea-Hargreaves, who has racked up 23 Tests since his 2009 debut, said Maguire had impressed in his short time in charge.

A team meeting at the start of the week was designed to settle the nerves of a host of newcomers.

"He's only been here for a few days but he's big on belief," Waerea-Hargreaves said.

"He said that everyone deserves to be here, so the room was full of confidence. That's the biggest thing that I've seen."

The 190-game NRL veteran was looking forward to another bruising clash with England's Burgess brothers.

In comments that suggest the US audience will be treated to some brutal collisions, he predicted the game will be won by the teams' respective big men.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge. I get goosebumps talking about it," he said.