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New Zealand coach Michael Maguire.

The Wests Tigers have officially released coach Ivan Cleary and appointed Michael Maguire as his successor.

The club released a statement on Sunday morning to announce he had been released from the remainder of his coaching contract.

The Tigers two minutes later then released a subsequent statement to announce the signing of Maguire.

Cleary texted the Tigers players on Saturday to bid them farewell.

Maguire has been appointed for at least the next three seasons. A premiership-winning coach with South Sydney and Wigan, he is in charge of New Zealand and will join the Tigers at the end of the Kiwis' Test series against England.

Wests Tigers chair Marina Go welcomed Maguire to the club.

"On behalf of everyone at Wests Tigers I'd like to welcome Michael to the club," said Go. "Michael has had success at the highest level and we look forward to having him as a part of Wests Tigers for at least the coming three seasons.

"I'd like to thank our stakeholders and Members for their patience during this process. This was a situation not of our making but I'm proud of the professional manner that the club has conducted itself and I believe we're now in a very strong position to move forward over the coming years."

Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said Maguire was "an impressive individual".

Ivan Cleary.
Ivan Cleary. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

"In all of our discussions he's been professional and has a clear understanding of where we want to take this club and I'm sure that he's the person to lead us to future success both on and off the field.

"Michael has taken sides to premierships both in Australia and overseas and I look forward to seeing him take our playing squad to the next level."

Maguire was looking forward to his next NRL challenge.

"The biggest appeal in taking on this role is being able to work with the leadership that has been built on and off the field at Wests Tigers," he said. "It's one of the biggest clubs in the NRL and I want to take it to long-term success.

"There's a really good mix of experience within the squad along with a group of exciting young players coming through. Wests Tigers also provides a great opportunity to build pathways for the talented juniors, I really enjoy bringing through home-grown talent and there is plenty of talent in the Wests Tigers area.

Cleary was due to coach the club until the end of 2020 but has been released immediately.

Match Highlights: England v Kiwis - First Test

Wests Tigers chair Marina Go thanked Cleary for his efforts while at the club.

"On behalf of everyone at Wests Tigers I would like to thank Ivan for the work he did during his time at the club," Go said.

"Ivan oversaw a period of significant change at Wests Tigers and his work will leave a positive impact on the club."


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