Bellamy backs Maguire for Souths - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellamy backs Maguire for Souths

By Guy Hand and Ian McCullough 13/04/2011 05:10:36 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy has told Russell Crowe and South Sydney they won't be disappointed if they give his former lieutenant Michael Maguire the NRL club's top job.

Shunned by Wayne Bennett, the Rabbitohs look set to confirm Wigan boss Maguire as their coach for 2012 and beyond some time this week.

Maguire spent six years at the Storm under Bellamy, and the former NSW coach says his former assistant is well equipped to lead Souths to glory and please their Hollywood superstar owner.

"One of the things I found with him, he was very keen to try and learn new things and look at other sports and other ways of doing things," Bellamy said.

"He was very inquisitive - he was always looking for ways to do things a little bit better.

"He was wonderfully successful over there last year with Wigan, and I'm sure he'll do a good job at Souths if the rumours are correct."

Maguire guided Wigan to their first English Super League title in 12 years at the first attempt.

He reportedly has a get-out clause in his three-year contract with Wigan should an NRL position become available.

He now looks certain to return to Australia and take over from John Lang, and be reunited with ex-Storm superstar Greg Inglis.

Bellamy was as surprised as anyone when told of the rumours linking Maguire to Souths on Wednesday.

"I was talking to him a week or so ago and he didn't talk too much about that," Bellamy joked.

Sydney Roosters hooker Mark Riddell, who played under Maguire at Wigan, echoed Bellamy's sentiments and predicted the 37-year-old would make an impact at the Rabbitohs.

"He brought in a very disciplined approach to the team, Wigan hadn't won a Super League premiership in a very long time and with it being a rugby league town, expectation is very high there," Riddell told AAP.

"Being a first-year head coach it was bit difficult for him to start with, but once he settled he was very thorough and got across what he wanted very well.

"He is also a pretty calm individual and very measured, nothing really fazed him, which was good, when the pressure is on.

"We had a very good leadership group at Wigan with some fine players which helped but Maguire was instrumental in our success, no doubt."

Souths have struggled to play consistently for 80 minutes this season and currently boast the worst defence in the NRL.

Some observers have questioned the team's conditioning, something Riddell said a Maguire team wouldn't lack.

"He put us through a really tough pre-season and made sure we started the season as fit as possible," he said.

"He is a very disciplined coach, and makes sure every single player knows exactly what their role in the team is, and if he does go to Souths, they will have got themselves an excellent coach."

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