Door opens for Maguire at Warrington

Speculation Michael Maguire could take over as coach of Super League side Warrington is growing after it was announced Tony Smith will leave at the club end of the season.

Maguire was sacked by South Sydney last week just three years after leading the Rabbitohs to the NRL premiership.

He was immediately linked with the Warrington job in addition to the vacant role at the Gold Coast following the exit of Neil Henry.

Warrington are bankrolled by millionaire music impresario Simon Moran and have the funds to tempt Maguire back to the north-west of England where he enjoyed a successful two-year stint with Wigan before taking over at Souths in 2012.

Smith, formerly of Huddersfield, Leeds and Great Britain, transformed Warrington into a major Super League force after taking over in March 2009.

He guided the Wolves to three Challenge Cup triumphs and two League Leaders’ Shields, and in 2016 they were runners-up in both the cup and Super League Grand Final.

However, they lost their first six league matches of this year and failed to recover on their way to their lowest finish since his first season.

“Since joining, Tony has helped transform the club and it is testimony to his time at Warrington that the club’s expectations have been lifted,” said chief executive Karl Fitzpatrick.

“Unfortunately, things have not worked out this year but when people reflect back on his time here I’m sure they will do so with many fond memories.

“I’m sure everyone will show their appreciation for everything he has done for this club at his last game on Saturday, September 23.”

Smith’s final match in charge will be at the Halliwell Jones Stadium against Hull KR, who also secured a Super League place this weekend.

“I’ve really enjoyed my nine years at the club and feel that it’s now in the best interests of all for us to go in different directions,” said Smith.

“I’m grateful for the relationship I’ve had with the board, in particular Simon Moran, and I’d like to thank them for their support over the time I’ve been at Warrington.”

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