No complacency for Rabbitohs: Maguire
Complacency will not be an issue for the defending premiers, according to South Sydney coach Michael Maguire, as the 2015 season draws ever closer.
Speaking at the Charity Shield launch at ANZ Stadium on Tuesday, Maguire said the achievement of winning the club's first premiership in 43 years has not dimmed the excitement for the upcoming season, adding his squad realises the challenge ahead.
Striving to become the first back-to-back premiers in a united competition since the Brisbane Broncos of 1992-93, Maguire hosed down any fear of complacent team performances.
"We have our standards set from when we had last pre-season so we're looking at those and seeing where we fit moving forward. There is quite a lot of excitement around the club with [the premiership win] and the euphoria makes you want more of that but… we realise we have to put in the hard work to achieve these sort of things," Maguire said.
"I don't think complacent is a word I'd use to describe our environment but it is up to us to do the little things and achieve the things we have done to this point [to avoid it]."
While a premiership defence would be the dream for South Sydney, they also know they'll have to do it without the inspirational Sam Burgess.
A well-publicised loss for the club, Burgess's departure to England didn't appear to worry Maguire.
"We all know what Sam meant to the club and he's left a great legacy behind but for us now that chapter has finished up. I have a lot of young kids coming through in the squad, and I think the experience of our young boys that have come through in the last 12 months is definitely going to take us forward. They're all very hungry," Maguire said.
"The boys have been gelling together and obviously with people like Tim Grant and Glenn Stewart coming to the club, they're bringing a difference through their experiences and we're really looking forward to growing with them."
With the bar of expectation set high for the Rabbitohs heading into the new year, Maguire said the club's recent trip to Arizona was beneficial.
"We took a different stance with [our pre-season] this year by going to Arizona. We were away for 18 days I think it was and the boys really jumped into training. It was a good experience together as a group to train there whether it be going up the Grand Canyon or climbing large mountains," Maguire said.
"The boys put a lot of effort into the training they did at altitude so it has been a little bit different for us but we're back into it here now.
"Obviously we have the Charity Shield – it's a great game to be a part of as a trial game and it's a fairly significant game for both teams – and then we have the Auckland Nines and World Club Challenge to look forward to [as the pre-season progress]."