Kennar signed with Souths the day Maguire was sacked

Kennar signed with Souths the day Maguire was sacked

Richie Kennar walked through the doors of South Sydney Rabbitohs' HQ in Redfern last September and signed a two-year contract.

A couple of hours later premiership-winning coach Michael Maguire walked through those same doors but in the opposite direction - sacked with two years remaining on a deal inked just 12 months earlier.

Kennar, stuck biding his time in Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs' Intrust Super Premiership ranks, had secured a release from his final season at Belmore, with the lure of regular game time at South Sydney a key facet in Maguire's sales pitch.

The 23-year-old has since found security under Maguire's successor Anthony Seibold and will take on his old Bulldogs mob next round with four tries from three impressive outings on the Rabbitohs' wing.

Kennar has only one explanation for his bizarre introduction to the cardinal and myrtle jersey.

"The day I signed with Souths, that's the day Madge got sacked. So it was pretty… rugby league, I guess," Kennar told NRL.com.

"It's a business of course, but that was a weird one.

"I was pretty much at Redfern that day, and later in the afternoon I think he was sacked. So I was pretty gutted for him too I'd say. But at the same time when I heard Seibs (Seibold) was the replacement, I was more than happy with that too.

"When I heard that Madge had been sacked that day, my mindset didn't change. I was still thinking 'go there, work hard, make the most of this chance'.

"Whoever they appointed, I was always going to rip for the coach. But when it was Seibs, I've seen how hard he worked to get to that position, that made it a bit easier too."

Maguire has since gone on to a high performance role with the NRL's elite referees squad, while Kennar and Seibold have come full circle on a relationship that first started in Melbourne.

Kennar joined the Storm's ranks as a 15-year-old, eventually progressing through to become Victoria's first Australian Schoolboys rep in a team that also featured Good Friday's Bulldogs opponent David Klemmer.

It was pretty… rugby league, I guess.

Richie Kennar

En route to nine NRL games for Melbourne, as just the third locally sourced first-grader in their history, Kennar found himself in the Storm's under-20 team under Seibold, and then his NRL development squad before moving on to Canterbury-Bankstown last year.

"He has changed a bit, he's gained more skills and experience as he moved on from Melbourne, he went to Manly and now Souths, so obviously his coaching grows from that," Kennar said of Seibold.

"But otherwise he's still the same. He looks after his players, that's always been clear with Seibs and he's always been about those little things at training and performing, doing the extras and one-percenters."

After one pre-season at Redfern, Kennar had the right people taking notice and landed himself a wing spot ahead of ex-Melbourne teammate Hymel Hunt.

A double in Seibold's first win as an NRL coach in last Saturday's 34-6 thrashing of Manly, along with a penchant for the tough carries out of his team's defensive end, has him every chance of keeping that starting spot when young flyer Campbell Graham returns from a hand injury.

"I just knew I had to come into pre-season in good nick and whatever the coach needed of me, whatever position I was more than happy to do my job.

"But when I first came over I was just trying to work hard. I wasn't focusing on that wing position, just working hard and I was lucky enough to get it in the end."