Samoan Broncos prepare for Bennett showdown
Samoan lock Josh McGuire is not lacking motivation heading into this weekend's Representative Round, with the 27-year-old wanting to achieve a rare scalp - a win over Broncos coach Wayne Bennett.
Allies will turn to enemies during Saturday's Test, with McGuire and Brisbane teammates Anthony Milford and Herman Ese'ese looking to get bragging rights over English coach Bennett when Samoa attempt to earn their first win against England in their history.
The Samoans last met the English during the 2014 Four Nations, pushing their more fancied opponents all the way to only just fall short of a huge upset, losing 32-26 in a thrilling contest.
Samoa led by two points with 16 minutes to go in that clash but couldn't hold on, with England's class getting them over the line at Suncorp Stadium.
McGuire played in that match but Bennett was not present, with Steve McNamara the man in charge of the English until Bennett took over in 2016.
If the heartbreaking six-point loss isn't motivation enough for McGuire as he heads into this weekend, Bennett's appointment as English coach will be.
"It's not weird [playing against Bennett] because I've played against him before but I definitely want to win. I'm not playing to lose," McGuire said.
"It would be good to get one over him and get some bragging rights for when we come back to training [at club level].
"In saying that, England are a very good team with class across the board so it'll be a very hard game."
McGuire has shrugged off the disappointment of being overlooked for the Australian Kangaroos and is now firmly focused on his duties for Samoa.
Eligible because his mother's grandfather is Samoan, McGuire said he is proud to represent a different side of his heritage.
"It's a good opportunity to play for my mum's side. I'm proud of my entire heritage," he said.
"Getting to play against a quality team like England is only going to improve my footy.
"It's a good opportunity for the team to play some good footy heading into the World Cup [at the end of the year]."
Despite running out for Samoa this weekend, the change to the eligibility rules of international rugby league in 2016 has ensured that McGuire can still represent the Queensland Maroons in the upcoming State of Origin series and the Kangaroos in the World Cup at the end of the year.
The change means McGuire can represent a tier-two nation like Samoa, without ruling himself out of Origin contention or playing for Australia, one of the three tier-one nations (along with New Zealand and England).
If McGuire were to miss selection for Australia in the World Cup, he would still be eligible to play for Samoa because of its tier-two status.
It's a change that McGuire is in full support of, saying that the standard of international rugby league will only benefit from it.
"It's good for football to have the best players available playing rugby league," he said.
"Obviously everyone has the opportunity to play for a tier-one nation but if you don't get picked for that then it's good for rugby league and good for the fans that we get this opportunity to represent other countries instead."