Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Following what was certainly a rollercoaster season, the Wests Tigers will be conducting an internal review, as all clubs will; however, the word out of Concord is that Michael Maguire’s job, in particular, will be under review.
Many fans came to sympathise with Maguire’s struggle this year through the “Wild Wests: Tales from Tiger Town” series on Fox Sports, that took fans behind the scenes at the club throughout the 2021 season, but it seems the success of the series may not be enough to save the 47-year-old his job.
We have seen “Madge” at the summit of the NRL in the past, leading the South Sydney Rabbitohs to their first premiership in 43 years in 2014, and before that coached the Wigan Warriors to a Super League title in 2010 and Challenge Cup title in 2011.
He is also currently the New Zealand Kiwis national team coach, guiding his side to victory over Australia in late 2018.
While Maguire has had quite the impressive coaching career overall, his time at the Tigers itself has been quite bleak, just missing out on the finals with the club in 2019, with the Tigers finishing ninth by a point, before they dropped to 11th in 2020 and finally to 13th in 2021, which is the Tigers’ first bottom four finish since 2017.
— Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) September 6, 2021
If Maguire is to be released by the club, then there are coaches available to take his place and premiership-winning coaches at that.
Just take Shane Flanagan for example, who led the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks to their first-ever NRL premiership in 2016, and is free to take on a head coaching role for 2022, or how about super coach Wayne Bennett?
A seven-time premiership winner that is confirmed to be leaving the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the end of this season and could be on the hunt for a new coaching gig in the NRL, at least until the Brisbane expansion side comes into the competition.
These are certainly two great options that the Tigers would be well aware of and are very likely tempted by, meaning Maguire’s fate could already be sealed, with the club possibly having a plan already to try and lure Flanagan or Bennett to Concord for 2022 and beyond.