‘Moose’ ready to roam with Cowboys pack
BIG-name Cowboys signing Josh McGuire says he approached the Broncos to seek a release from his contract and "needed a change", but remains tight-lipped on how he will be utilised in North Queensland's all-star pack.
After 10 years of first grade at Brisbane, the international forward avoided the coaching circus which engulfed Red Hill when he signed with the Cowboys on a four-year deal.
The move has been win-win, with the 28-year-old able to secure his long-term future while freeing up salary cap space for the Broncos to re-sign Matt Lodge, Tevita Pangai and Corey Oates.
McGuire insists he holds no ill-will to the Broncos and needed a change of scenery to revitalise his career.
"I went to the club (Brisbane) and said I needed a change, the (Cowboys) opportunity arose I couldn't refuse and I took it," McGuire said.
"I needed a change and it's a great club, it's been a breath of fresh air to come up here.
"I have no ill thoughts of the Broncos, I love that club and I will always have a soft spot for it in my heart, but I'm very excited to be part of the Cowboys and a fresh start.
"I'd been there (Brisbane) since I was 15 years old. I played ten years of first grade there so for myself and my family, it felt like it was the right time for me to step away for another opportunity.
"I'm just glad everything's been resolved down there. I've got a lot of good mates there so it's good to see the club's back on track to what they want to be doing.
"These things happen in sport, it's a business and I'm glad to be part of an organisation that's really settled up here, and know what we're working towards."
While he will add some aggression and mongrel to the Cowboys pack, what role McGuire will play remains a mystery.
He has played almost exclusively at lock for the last two seasons but unless Jason Taumalolo is shifted to the back row, which seems unlikely, he looks set to play front row.
It may force Matt Scott to the bench, a role the stalwart prop has already declared he's happy to fill.
"Greeny (coach Paul Green) has a role for me I'm going to play," McGuire said.
"Everyone just has to wait and see what happens in the game and how it works out, but I'm excited to be up here and excited about my role in the team.
"I don't really know the difference between lock and front row other than there's a 13, eight and 10, I'll just play wherever Greeny wants me to play.
"We've had discussions about how my role is going to work in this team and I'm excited about it. I think it fits me and the club really well."
McGuire wasted little time settling in at training, entering in a huddle with key playmakers Michael Morgan, Ben Barba, Te Maire Martin and veteran Gavin Cooper after the session.
He said the squad is desperate to right the wrongs of last season where they finished 13th with just eight wins.
"Expectations are always high when you're a professional rugby league player, the expectations come when you're at such a prestigious and high quality club like the Cowboys," McGuire said.
"Obviously a lot of the boys are disappointed with how last year went for them."
McGuire is pleased his homecoming against the Broncos at Suncorp will be in his rear view mirror after round two.
"It'll feel like I haven't left. Getting the game out of the way early is pretty good," he said. "It's always a big game when the Cows play the Broncos. I've been on one side of the fence and I get to experience it from the other side."