The Brisbane Broncos are facing a battle to retain Josh McGuire with the boom Queensland Origin hopeful set to test his value on the open market.
McGuire capped a fine season on Friday night, with the fearless front-rower named the Broncos’ most improved player in 2011 at the club’s gala presentation ball.
The challenge now for the Broncos is holding on to McGuire, whose stocks have soared after his superb late-season form led to his selection in Australia’s Four Nations train-on squad a fortnight ago.
McGuire, cleared to represent Queensland and Australia last week after having his Samoan status rescinded, is off-contract next year.
His preference is to stay with the Broncos, the club that has developed him since the age of 16.
But with a shortage of quality props on the open market in 2012, McGuire, 21, is an attractive commodity and stands to field offers of more than $250,000 a season.