New Zealand Kiwis boss and former Wests Tigers head coach Michael Maguire has confirmed his return to the NRL in 2023, joining the Canberra Raiders as an assistant coach on a two-year deal.
The news follows his exit from the Wests Tigers, where he had coached from 2019 until the middle of the 2022 season, when he was dumped by the club. He won just 29 out of 80 games during his time at the club.
Maguire, who is a former premiership winner with the South Sydney Rabbitohs where he enjoyed far greater success between 2012 and 2017, was a highly chased figure for the 2023 campaign.
Maguire, all up, has coached more than 300 games, with 70 at the Wigan Warriors in 2010 and 2011, winning 53.
Alongside the Raiders, it was believed the Canterbury Bulldogs and Parramatta Eels were both chasing Maguire, with Brad Arthur believed to have met with the former Tigers boss before he flew to England with thew New Zealand team for the Rugby League World Cup.
Canterbury director of football Phil Gould was also reportedly interested in bringing Maguire to the Bulldogs as a way of bringing experience onto rookie Cameron Ciraldo's staff.
Instead though, the 48-year-old who was born in the nation's capital will shift to the Raiders in 2023, where he joins a staff that has lost assistant coaches Brett White and Andrew McFadden during the off-season.
White will join the Gold Coast Titans, while McFadden has gone to the New Zealand Warriors where he will work under a rookie coach in another former Penrith assistant Andrew Webster.
Maguire, alongside being born in Canberra, also played 11 games for the Raiders between 1992 and 1996 and has previously acted as an assistant for the green machine.
Ricky Stuart said he was excited at the prospect of Maguire joining the Raiders.
“Michael is a wonderful signing for our club and he brings valuable experience and knowledge to the role,” the head coach said.
“He has a wonderful record as a coach at all levels of the game and we're very fortunate to be able to secure someone of his calibre.
“I can't wait to work with him and have him working alongside our coaching staff and playing group.”
Maguire will link up with the Raiders following the World Cup.