New Kiwis coach Maguire keen to bring back big names
Former premiership-winning South Sydney Rabbitohs mentor Michael Maguire is the new coach of the Kiwis on a four-year deal, the New Zealand Rugby League confirmed on Thursday.
As revealed by NRL.com on Tuesday, Maguire edged out former NRL coaches Des Hasler and Geoff Toovey and ex-NSW Origin coach Laurie Daley to take on the role vacated by David Kidwell following last year's World Cup.
"This was a great opportunity and I'm excited about getting to work," Maguire said.
"I want to build something special for the New Zealand people and I plan on being here full-time. I want to grow the game from the grassroots right the way through."
As well has his aspirations to "fully embrace" the New Zealand culture, Maguire has revealed his desire to offer lifelines to several players who were not part of last year's World Cup campaign.
His first game in charge of the national side will be the Test against England in Denver on June 23.
Maguire confirmed he wants both Kevin Proctor and Jesse Bromwich to be a part of Denver Test after the star forwards were stood down from the World Cup after they were caught using cocaine after last year's mid-season loss to Australia in Canberra.
Maguire said Manu Ma'u and Russell Packer would "definitely" be part of his plans for his first squad and he would try to get their US visa issues sorted in the near future.
He also confirmed he would leave the door open for a potential return to the Kiwis for Jason Taumalolo and the rest of the Tongan contingent, who spectacularly turned their backs on New Zealand prior to last years's World Cup.
"There will always be a place for players who have worn the jersey before," he said.
"Obviously Jase has played a lot here (in New Zealand) and he's a quality player. Ultimately I want players that have full respect for the jersey."
The Kiwis also have a three-Test series against England at the end of the season and are scheduled to play in Hull, Liverpool and Leeds.
Since parting ways with the Rabbitohs at the end of last season, Maguire has been working with NRL match officials.
He has also previously coached Wigan and took the famous English club to a Super League premiership in 2010 and victory in the 2011 Challenge Cup before joining Souths in 2012.