The Kiwis’ Decision to Remove Maguire Due to Blues Conflict of Interest Was Justified

Wayne Bennett should head the list of candidates to replace Michael Maguire at the New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL). Maguire was told that he would have to step down if he wanted to take up the NSW State of Origin job. This is a fair approach as it would not look good for the international game to have the same coach in charge of a provincial side and a main Test nation. Wayne Bennett has a history with the Kiwis, having been an assistant to Stephen Kearney in 2008 when they won the World Cup. Bennett is currently coaching the Dolphins and is not contemplating retirement, making him a potential candidate for the Kiwis if they choose to go down the trans-Tasman path. If they do not, they may have a deficiency in their own coaching production line. The only New Zealander coaching in the NRL is Benji Marshall, who was parachuted into the Wests Tigers’ hot seat a few rounds from the end of their second successive wooden spoon. Stacey Jones and Nathan Cayless are other potential options after serving as assistant coaches.