Former Rabbitohs premiership-winning coach, Michael Maguire has turned down the opportunity to join the Wallabies coaching staff so he can further pursue a role in the NRL.
The former South Sydney and Wests Tigers coach told the Sydney Morning Herald that he declined Wallabies' coach Eddie Jone's invitation to join as a defensive coach and will instead remain in his role as a consultant to Ricky Stuart at the Canberra Raiders.
“I'd love to work with Eddie,” Maguire said.
“I've known Eddie for a long time; he's a fanatical Souths fan. We spent quite a bit of time catching up during my time at Souths. He does love rugby league, but his passion is obviously on the union side at the moment.
“I've stayed in touch with him. He's a high achiever in everything he's done in the coaching space over a long period of time.
“I love Eddie's mentality; he trains his players at a high level, and we probably have the same mentality in many of the things we do.
“At this present moment, I'm really enjoying my time in Canberra. The thought of winning another [league] competition, whether it be here or wherever it may be, I'm very hungry for that once again.
“Whether Eddie and I cross paths in the future, only time will tell. At the end of the day, I'm very hungry to win a competition and that's what I've set out to do.”
Maguire joined the Raiders on a two-year deal after stepping down from the Wests Tigers in June of last year.
The 49-year-old played for the Raiders throughout the 1990s, appearing 11 times for the green machine in a variety of backline spots.
Maguire also began his coaching career with Canberra as an assistant before joining the Storm in 2004.
Now with 233 games worth of first-grade coaching behind him, Maguire is relishing his time under Raiders head, Ricky Stuart, as he works for a future head coaching contract in the NRL.
“He (Stuart) was well and truly aware (of Jones's offer)," Maguire continued.
"That's part of being a strong team, you need to be open and honest with the people around you. I'm very appreciative of what ‘Stick' has done in giving me an opportunity here.
“With Stick, I'm really enjoying working with him. Being away for 15 years, the whole place has transformed. It's a different feel down here in the community; you can feel the hunger for the Raiders. It feels a bit like the early '90s. Getting back to that success would be very nice.”
Maguire wouldn't have been the first NRL coach to join forces with Eddie Jones as current Sea Eagles head coach, Anthony Seibold served as a defensive assistant for Jones during his time with the England rugby union squad.