A difficult clash against an NRL juggernaut is hardly the way Maguire and his team would have wanted to start the season, coming off a bottom-four performance in 2021 and with most pundits predicting that is where they will end up again in 2022.
Ordinarily, the halves combination would have been Luke Brooks and Adam Doueihi. While Brooks has come under plenty of fire for his performances, Doueihi was one of - if not the best at the Tigers last year.
He will miss the start of the season however, having injured his ACL at the back end of 2021.
Maguire has instead revealed that new recruit Jackson Hastings will be the man to start at five-eighth alongside Brooks in Round 1, edging out young gun Jock Madden, who played a handful of games last year, as well as Tyrone Peachey, who was signed as a utility to the club after the Gold Coast Titans opted not to retain him for the new season.
Speaking on Triple M, Maguire called Hasings "competitive" and "really good for the club."
“Yeah that’s where we’re looking at him at the moment obviously with Adam Doueihi being on the sideline and Jackson’s able to play quite a number of positions,” Maguire said.
“Jacko’s being doing a great job for us in the halves but to have his versatility down the track may be a real value to us.
“He’s been really good for us, really fresh, real competitive and wants to achieve a hell of a lot in the game.
“He’s obviously had his time before but I think we’re going to see a real new Jackson Hastings with how he is and the things that he’s learnt.”
Hastings headlines the additions to the club for 2022, with the revelation he will play in the halves likely meaning Tyrone Peachey is set to wear the number 13 jersey on the Tigers first team sheet of the year.
The joint venture will first play the Manly Sea Eagles and Sydney Roosters in a pair of pre-season trials which will give Tigers fans their first look at Hastings, as well as another English Super League recruit in Oliver Gildart.
Maguire also opened up on Brooks - who holds the unwanted record of most NRL games without a finals appearance - batting away a question regarding him having his "best pre-season ever."
“I might leave it at that… and let him do the talking,” Maguire said.
“Everyone has an opinion around that space, but I’m really pleased with where he’s at and it’s about doing it on the field now so lets him do the talking.”