Rugby league: Michael Maguire unveiled as new Kiwis coach

Former Wigan Warriors and South Sydney Rabbitohs boss Michael Maguire has been confirmed as the new Kiwis coach, signing a four-year deal with New Zealand Rugby League.

Maguire will take over from David Kidwell, who struggled in the role, winning only three of his 10 games in charge.

After last year's horror show at the Rugby League World Cup, where New Zealand were eliminated in the quarter-finals, Kidwell decided not to re-apply for the role.

Former NRL coaches Geoff Toovey, and Des Hasler were also interviewed for the Kiwis coaching position, along with former NSW State of Origin coach Laurie Daley.

His first game in charge of the Kiwis will be the test against England in Denver on June 23.

"This was a great opportunity and I'm excited about getting to work," Maguire said at a press confrence on Thursday. 

"I want to build something special for the New Zealand people and I plan on being here full-time. I want to grow the game from the grassroots right the way through.

"My full focus now is on the Kiwis and what we can do to build processes that manifest success, which is centred around the respect for the black-and-white jersey.

"New Zealand already supplies a lot of the top talent in the National Rugby League and English Super League, and they've got the biggest nursery, as well as the most vocal, passionate and knowledgeable fans.

"Pride in that jersey isn't just for players, it's for the whole of New Zealand. That's the task facing us all at the refreshed NZRL."

Issac Luke with Michael Maguire.
Issac Luke with Michael Maguire. Photo credit: Getty Images

Maguire confirmed he wanted both Kevin Proctor and Jesse Bromwich to be a part of the upcoming Denver test. The star forwards were stood down from the World Cup for allegedly using cocaine after last year's mid-season loss to Australia in Canberra.

He also said the 'door is always open' to Jason Taumalolo, who pledged his allegiance to Tonga last year.

Maguire has had a successful coaching career that started with the Melbourne Storm in 2009 as an assistant coach.

The following year, he joined Wigan for two seasons, winning the 2010 Super League and 2011 Challenge Cup.

He then took charge of the Bunnies in 2012, leading them to the 2014 NRL Premiership.

In October, the Kiwis will also host a test against Australia in Auckland, before travelling to play a three-test series against England and a one-off test against France.


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