Josh McGuire’s future at the Brisbane Broncos was sealed yesterday after he signed a two year contract extension. This will see the forward remain at the Red Hill club until the end of 2017.
Last season the twenty-four year old was in hot demand from a couple of clubs. The Broncos were keen to ensure McGuire stayed with the club even if it was at the expense of veteran National Rugby League player Ben Hannant. Reports mid-season suggested that McGuire could be chasing a seven-figure contract with the club over two years.
McGuire’s 2014 was by far his best and culminated in representing Samoa at the Four Nations last October where he was by far that nation’s best forward on field.
Two things most impressed me about McGuire’s rise in 2014. The first, a low error rate. Especially when carrying the ball where ball security is so important. The other, improvement in getting over the advantage line. In 2014 he averaged 130 metres per game. This was up considerably on the 105 he averaged in the 2013 season.
McGuire represents the future of the Broncos up front. There’s no hiding that Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday are closer to the end of their careers than the start. Parker turns 33 in May and his contract is up at the end of 2016. Thaiday will be thirty in June and probably has one final contract to sign before his career winds down. Both Parker and Thaiday have led the charge up front year after year. McGuire along with Alex Glenn are in the next generation to take over and mentor up and coming Broncos like Jarrod Wallace and Mitch Dodds.
It’s fair to say by Broncos standards that the last two seasons have been extremely frustrating for the players and fans alike. Wayne Bennett is seen as the miracle man who can bring the Broncos success. However it all comes down to the work ethic and attitude of the players. There will be high expectations that Josh McGuire can deliver like he did in 2014 and take the Broncos back to their rightful place at the top of the ladder.