The forgotten man of Brisbane’s 2015 grand final surge is now the name on everyone’s lips at the NRL club after emerging as a Kangaroos bolter.
Prop Josh McGuire may have been one of five Broncos named in the Kangaroos squad on Tuesday but he was the most popular pick at Red Hill after a long road back from injury.
McGuire suffered a ruptured Achilles in round 16 last year and cut a forlorn figure on the sidelines as Brisbane launched an unlikely title tilt.
Ten months after breaking down, McGuire is set to make his Kangaroos debut after being named on the bench for Friday week’s trans-Tasman Test in Newcastle.
No wonder a disbelieving McGuire told Darius Boyd where to go when his Brisbane and soon-to-be-Test teammate broke the selection news to him.
“Darius told me I was in the team so I told him to beat it,” McGuire told Broncos TV.
“I honestly did not think I would make the team – I am in shock.
“Eight months ago I couldn’t walk.
“Now I get the opportunity to wear the green and gold – crazy.”
Last year looked set to be one to remember for McGuire after finally breaking through to make his Queensland State of Origin debut.
However, it turned out to be one to forget after breaking down against Newcastle last June.
It ensured he did not play in the Origin series decider at Suncorp Stadium – a record breaking 52-6 romp over NSW.
Then came Brisbane’s surprise premiership push.
“I was shattered,” said McGuire who had previously played six Tests for Samoa.
He ended an eight-month lay off when he launched a comeback in Brisbane’s World Club Series clash in England in February.
Two months later he has been picked for Australia.
“I am just trying to grasp the idea,” McGuire said.
“To be honest I am just happy being back playing football.
“Even to be tossed up for Australia with the names that are there is very humbling.
“It was a long road (back from injury). It was hard, but it is paying off now.”