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Maguire won't give up Kiwis for NRL gig

AAP logoAAP 11/10/2018 Steve Zemek

© AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy Michael Maguire will make it a condition of any NRL coaching job that he be allowed to continue mentoring New Zealand.

After being tasked with rebuilding the Kiwis following their disastrous World Cup showing, Maguire faces a litmus test against Australia at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.

And a victory over the world champion Kangaroos would make him a red-hot commodity on the coaching market.

The former South Sydney premiership-winner has been linked to a number of NRL clubs and recently turned down Manly.

Maguire stressed that any job must be under the right conditions and one of those is he be given permission to continue in his role with the Kiwis.

There is a recent trend towards representative coaches positions being full-time but Maguire said he could look after a club and national side at the same time.

"And that's going to be a stipulation to what I do moving forward," Maguire said.

"I'm really keen (to get back to an NRL club) and being away from it week in and week out has allowed me to spend more time in this space.

"It's great. I've met so many more kids, coaches, it's opened up the scope and it's been enjoyable. I'm also looking forward to getting back in the mix when the time's right."

Maguire is the leading contender to take over at Brisbane should Wayne Bennett depart over the club's refusal to extend his contract beyond 2019.

He was tight-lipped on his future saying only that he would look at any opportunity if the timing and club were right.

He said taking control of the Kiwis squad had stoked his love for coaching and his desire to return to the NRL was burning bright.

"I love it. I guess I have to hold my emotion, I love being in camp around the boys," Maguire said.

"Sometimes it's not so much what happens on the field, it's the stuff off the field and the development of young men and talking to some of the great Kiwi young men like Joseph Manu about his grand-final win and Jared (Waerea-Hargreaves) and guys who are aspiring to do that sort of thing."

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