Maguire a long-term fix: Souths - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maguire a long-term fix: Souths

By David Beniuk 16/04/2011 01:39:48 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney are viewing Michael Maguire as their long-term solution after confirming the NRL's worst kept secret, that the Wigan coach will head to Redfern in 2012.

Maguire, the former assistant to Craig Bellamy at Melbourne who took Wigan to a Super League title in his first season at the helm, has signed a three-year deal to replace John Lang at the Rabbitohs.

But Souths chief executive Shane Richardson is hoping the 37-year-old lasts longer after becoming the club's second choice when Wayne Bennett decided to join Newcastle from 2012.

"I think that he could be a really long-term coach for us," Richardson told Fox Sports News on Saturday.

"We've spent a long time since (owners) Russell (Crowe) and Peter (Holmes a Court) took over to try and establish a quality playing roster. I think we've got that.

"The final piece of the puzzle is a long-term coach and we think we've got that now and we're pretty excited about it."

Maguire, who watched Wigan beat Hull KR 28-16 early on Saturday morning (AEST), said it was tough to leave the English club but he was returning for personal reasons.

"It was extremely hard," he said.

"The speculation has been going a long time, a hell of a long time, but over the last couple of days it became real and I knew for personal reasons and a lot of things that it was the right time to make the decision."

Maguire was an assistant to Bellamy at Melbourne between 2005-09, a stint that included four grand finals, after beginning his career as a conditioning coach at Canberra in 1998.

"From our discussions with Michael, we have determined that he is the right the man to come into this club and take us to the next level," Richardson said.

"He is highly respected in the rugby league community and has learned his trade under some of the best coaches in the game ... He has already had great success with Wigan and Melbourne.

"In saying all of that, there is still work to be done in season 2011 and John Lang is doing a great job with our current squad."

Lang, 60, is expected to retire from front-line coaching after being a virtual caretaker since Jason Taylor's sacking in 2009.

He will be hoping to go out with a second premiership after steering Penrith to the title in 2003.

Bennett broke his silence on his decision on Saturday, emphasising the importance of the Rabbitohs to the health of the NRL.

"They've done a great job since they came back into the game," Bennett told the DMG radio network.

"Remember, they were out for three years and didn't have a club, so it's been a step at a time for them.

"I think we all recognise there's so much talent at that club now and it is one of the foundation clubs of the game and won the most premierships (20) of any club.

"I think everybody realises the game will be at it's absolute best when the Rabbitohs are at the top of the league again."

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