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Josh McGuire is ready to lead from the front.

The young bull and old warhorse often butted heads but Josh McGuire says he is ready to expand his game and take up the role vacated by Broncos legend Corey Parker in 2017.

Stung by his omission from Mal Meninga's Four Nations squad, McGuire has returned to training with an even greater sense of intensity, which for a player who pushes teammates at every training session should send a warning to opposition teams.

Like Parker, McGuire takes the same attitude and competitiveness onto the training park as he does on game day and very nearly came to blows with young forward Salesi Funaki late last season.

But more than emulating Parker's intensity at training McGuire said he is eager to develop his skills with ball in hand so that he can provide that ball-playing option that was such a hallmark of Parker's performances.

"It's something that I enjoy doing, playing footy, but I probably haven't had to do it too much at the start of my career because we've had other guys there doing it," said McGuire, who with Tanyssa travelled to the United States in the off-season.

"The lock position isn't any different to the front row anymore, you just don't take the kick-offs.

"It's going to be a hard hole to fill with Corey gone but we've got a good core group here that are definitely going to put their hand up and pick up that load.

"I'll play wherever Wayne wants to play me but I'm pretty sure I know where I'm playing next year and the coach knows and he'll make that decision public when he decides to."

With a young group of forwards ready to push their way into the top grade, McGuire knows it is now more important than ever to set the right tone for the next generation to uphold.

Joe Ofahengaue, Tevita Pangai Jnr, Herman Ese'ese, Jai Arrow, Jaydn Su'a and Keegan Hipgrave will all be pushing for inclusion in the top 17 next year and McGuire says it is important that they understand the ethos that the club was built upon.

"I'm one of the older guys at the moment so I've got to make sure that myself, Andrew [McCullough], 'Hunty' (Ben Hunt), Alex [Glenn] are all leading by example for the younger guys," said McGuire.

"Obviously 'Cozza' (Parker) was a big, driving force behind the club and the way we went about our training and being competitive and competing on all things.

"It's just the culture at this club. Everyone is competitive, you've got to be competitive to play at the highest level.

"That's something that we try and drive here at training and the older guys have been around it for a bit longer so we're definitely trying to do that.

"Cozza pushed me in a lot of regards. He's definitely one of the guys that took me under his wing as a young guy and showed me the ropes.

"I learnt a lot off him and I'm going to miss playing with him but life goes on and we've got to keep moving on."

Desperate to not become a one-Test wonder after making his debut for the Kangaroos in the Trans-Tasman Test against New Zealand in May this year, the 26-year-old couldn't hide his disappointment at not making the Four Nations squad that toured England in November.

"Obviously I was disappointed, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't but it's the Australian team, they don't give those jerseys away," McGuire said.

"It's something that I want to get back to. I want to get back there, I want to play Origin and I want to play some good footy next year. I want to get back to the form that I had at the start of last year and keep on improving on it.

"I'm starting to hit those years now where as a middle player you start to find a consistency in your football and that's definitely something I'm trying to do."



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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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