Furner joins Souths as assistant coach

South Sydney have moved to shore up coach Michael Maguire’s support staff for the 2017 NRL season, appointing former Canberra mentor David Furner as an assistant.

Furner will move from his assistant role under North Queensland coach Paul Green to Redfern as the Rabbitohs seek to move on from a disappointing 2016 season.

The announcement on Wednesday likely signals the end of Maguire’s current assistants, Kurt Wrigley and Wayne Collins, at the Rabbitohs.

Wrigley and Collins were Maguire’s offsiders in the Rabbitohs premiership win in 2014.

Former Kangaroos representative Matt King, who also serves as an assistant to Maguire, is set to take on more duties in 2017.

Souths have also announced they have signed former Melbourne and Parramatta staffer Paul Devlin as head of high performance.

“These men have vast experience in coaching at the elite level and in their areas of expertise, and they are seen as leaders in their field amongst their peers,” Maguire said of the appointments.

“We’re looking forward to having them join our squad for the 2017 pre-season.

“With four games remaining this season, we are committed to focusing week-to-week on the job at hand, and in time we will pay tribute to, and recognise, the staff that made such a big contribution to this club reaching the pinnacle of winning its 21st premiership.”

Maguire has been under pressure, with questions raised about his coaching methods.

After leading Souths to their breakthrough premiership in 2014, the club was eliminated in the first week of the finals last season.

Souths will miss the finals for the first time this year under Maguire, who moved from Super League outfit Wigan for the 2012 NRL season.

Furner coached the Raiders from 2009 to 2013 and has served under an Green for the last three seasons, including their 2015 title win.

He also worked under former Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens from 2010 to 2015.

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