North Queensland Cowboys training from 1300 Smiles Stadium. Josh McGuire. Picture: Zak Simmonds
North Queensland Cowboys training from 1300 Smiles Stadium. Josh McGuire. Picture: Zak Simmonds

McGuire confident in his new Wolf Pack role at Cowboys

NORTH Queensland Cowboys forward Josh McGuire is not in two minds about what his role will be when the Cowboys start their premiership charge in less than three weeks time.

McGuire did not play in last weekend's trial against the Titans on the Sunshine Coast, with the Test prop unavailable because of family reasons, but is ready to be unleashed in this weekend's final trial hitout against the Melbourne Storm in Mackay.

McGuire averaged 118m a game during his injury affected 2018 season and started at lock for Australia in November's Test win over Tonga.

McGuire joins a Cowboys front-row featuring its so-called 'Wolf pack' of Jason Taumalolo, Matt Scott and Jordan McLean, and while McLean played 42 of his last 44 NRL games at lock, it's a starting position that will be occupied by Taumalolo come Round 1.

Not to worry for McGuire, however, who says he knows the task at hand.

"I don't think my role is really going to change from what I did at the Broncos for the last part of my career," McGuire said.

"I'll be doing whatever the coach wants me to do, but I know where I fit in and I've got a pretty good idea of how he wants me to work.

"I don't think my role is going to change or the way I play footy.

"Everything's exactly the same."

McGuire even expressed his bemusement when hearing of the team's 'wolf pack' for the first time.

"They call themselves the wolf pack? I've never heard of that," McGuire said with a laugh.

"They haven't been talking about it around at training, so I'll have to ask them about that one."

McGuire is confident we will have enough minutes in his legs come season kick-off against Dragons at 1300SMILES Stadium on March 16.

"I don't want to play too much footy before the season starts, so I'll probably get a little bit of a stint against the Storm (in Mackay) and then rest up until Round 1," he said.

"I've very excited about the new colours, but I just have to get through this week first and fingers crossed everything goes well."

McGuire will take his place in a Cowboys team that impressed Green with its ball play last weekend, and Green has previously said he intends to use more of McGuire's underestimated skill.

"The passing we've been doing through the forwards...we've been doing a bit of work on that through the off-season," Green said.

"Passing in particular is something we've put a focus on in the pre-season, right across the board, and our execution in the conditions (last weekend) was good.

"(Our) ball control I think was above 80 per cent, that was pleasing."

"Our passing in general improved in what was pretty difficult conditions."

This weekend's trial will also be the last opportunity for Jake Clifford and Te Maire Martin to press their claims for the club's halfback position before Round 1.

"I can't put my finger on who's got the running," McGuire said.

"Cliffo scored three tries on the weekend but by all reports they both played really well and I'm just glad I'm not the coach.

"I reap the benefits of playing with some really fantastic football players."

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