He played 259 games at the highest level in the NRL, made 14 appearances for Queensland and even played five games in the green and gold, but former Broncos, Cowboys and Dragons prop Josh McGuire was surprisingly on edge before his move to Warrington ahead of 2023.
The NRL veteran joins an imposing pack containing the likes of Sam Kasiano and Paul Vaughan that is sure to aid the Wolves' recovery this year, but he has lived an anxious few months watching from Australia as the renowned club was forced to fight hard to stave off relegation.
Appearing on the Warrington Wolves podcast, McGuire revealed the stressful experience considering the possibility of playing in the Championship, despite signing for the club while they were still in the top flight.
“You want to be here, you want to experience it, hurting and being the best and bleeding for your mate knowing they'll do the same,” McGuire said, per UK Site SeriousAboutRL.
“From the outside looking in, I was up at 3am every (game day) watching in Australia going ‘please don't get relegated, please don't get relegated' – sending messages asking ‘what happens if you get relegated?'”
The Wolves limped across the line, winning just three of their final 10 games. Ultimately they were better than French side Toulouse Olympique, who went back down just a year after gaining promotion.
Nonetheless it was a disappointing result, and the club's worst finish since 1989. But after the relegation scare, the playing group are now even more determined to ensure they rapidly improve.
“I want to be here, I want to be a part of it, as is everyone who has signed on here now. Everyone wants the same thing,” McGuire said.
As well as Vaughan, McGuire joins another former Dragon in England, with Matt Dufty having joined the squad midway through the season. Former Dragons captain Gareth Widdop has confirmed his departure from the club in the off-season, moving to Castleford.