No regrets for Josh McGuire after picking Warrington Wolves over World Cup

JOSH McGUIRE has revealed that he turned down the chance to be part of Samoa’s history-making World Cup campaign to join Warrington Wolves early, and he has no regrets about that decision.

The 32-year-old forward, who has signed a two-year contract with Warrington following his departure from St George Illawarra Dragons, was part of Australia’s World Cup-winning side in 2017.

But he previously represented his Samoan heritage, and was close to doing so again this year with the team that went on to reach the World Cup Final for the very first time, knocking out England along the way.

“I was going to play the World Cup for Samoa,” said McGuire, who has played over 250 matches in the NRL for Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and the Dragons.

“I talked to Powelly (Warrington head coach Daryl Powell) and Karl (Fitzpatrick, CEO) and the club, we discussed it and we all decided it was best for me and best for the club that I come straight away for pre-season and hit the ground running.”

McGuire arrived in the UK in time to watch his two previous international teams meet at Old Trafford. “I’m just glad it was a good game,” he said, but he was happy to be missing out.

He said: “I took my kids to the final. It was funny because I went to see the Australia boys in camp and saw the Samoan boys as well. 

“I played in the ’17 World Cup and we won that with Australia, so I tasted that experience. At no point was I sitting there thinking ‘I wish I played’. 

“This was more important to me, to be here with my club boys and to build some relationships with these guys. 

“That’s going to be very important leading into the season and then during the season. 

“The only way you build those relationships is on the pitch or on the wrestle mats. It’s about building trust. 

“It takes longer than three or four weeks to do that, so if I had come in January it wouldn’t have been possible.

“Now I get longer to have a solid couple of months building relationships and building combinations, which is important for me as a middle link player to build a link with the spine. 

“And they get to see how I work and how I like to play. I like to shoot from the hip and fly out of the line a fair bit, and how I tackle and the way I like to conduct myself on the field. 

“By the time we get to round one, everyone is going to know me. I’m an open book.”