McGuire a lock for Broncos No.13

NRL NEWS

McGuire a lock for Broncos No.13

Brisbane Broncos and Maroons legend Greg Dowling says Josh McGuire must stay at lock for the 2018 season, believing that playing new signing Jack Bird in the position would be a waste of talent. 

His comments come after McGuire was awarded the Ron McAuliffe Medal for the Maroons' Player of the Series on Monday night, taking home the award at the team's annual Christmas get together. 

McGuire had an outstanding 2017, helping Queensland take home another Origin series win, as well as playing a vital part in Australia's successful World Cup campaign. 

After the retirement of Corey Parker at the end of the 2016 season, many questioned how McGuire would go shifting from the front row to lock, but he has performed superbly, with his representative form the icing on the cake after another consistent year in Broncos colours. 

Dowling, a workhorse prop who played for Queensland on 13 occasions, said it would be silly for Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett to shift McGuire again considering how good he has been in the No.13 jersey this year. 

The 58-year-old believes Bird should not even be considered for the role, saying that the signing of the former Cronulla Shark was a "strange" one for the club to make. 

"I'm very pleased to hear he's won that award. He's played some great football over the past three years," Dowling said.  

"I'd like to see him stay at lock after the way he has played in that position in both Origin and at an international level. 

"I think Bird would be their best weapon in the backs somewhere. That's going to be the next thing, to see where they are going to put Bird. I think the Bird signing is strange. I really do. 

"I have no idea where they are going to play him. Centre might be the only position. 

"If you bring a player like him into the forwards then you are going to waste him. The work rate is going to be too high for him and he'll be expected to do too much. You are just going to burn him out and get him injured."  

Queensland coach Kevin Walters is of the opinion that lock is McGuire's best position, with the newly appointed Broncos assistant impressed by what he saw from the 27-year-old this year. 

It sounds as if Walters will have McGuire in the No.13 jersey come Origin, even if Bennett decides to shift his star forward. 

Whether Bennett does or does not decide to move McGuire will be a decision completely up to the master coach, with Walters sticking to his area of expertise at the Broncos – the halves. 

"I'm not surprised by how well he's made the transition and excelled. He's always had a really good work ethic with all that he does," Walters said.

"Where he plays next year will be a decision that Wayne makes. I think he'll be in the side somewhere and you'd expect that to be at 13 after the year he's had. I don't expect that to change."