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Coach Michael Maguire

Back in pre-season training for the 2021 NRL season, Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire spoke to Sportsday NSW about the culture being built for the playing group and latest recruitment updates.

“We’re always looking to improve and create change around what we’re doing — we’re all chasing to get into that eight and higher,” said Maguire.

“We have the likes of Joe Ofahengaue coming in and we have James Tamou and James Roberts on their way too which is good for us.

“We need to move forward and look forward.

"There is a lot of excitement about the team at the moment. We have gone through some changes — we’ve had some significant popular players move on and it creates opportunities for the players that are currently with us.

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“I’m looking forward to how we grow throughout this preseason," he said. "There’s a lot of excitement happening throughout organisation.”

Maguire said he was particularly excited for the pending arrival of James Roberts.

“He should be with us in the next two weeks, but he is looking really healthy and really positive and he has great people around him,” said Maguire.

“I had a lot to do with Jimmy as a young boy coming through Rabbitohs, so I’ve got a long-standing connection with him over the years. The headspace he’s in at the moment is the best I’ve seen in him.

“I’m looking forward to him joining us and helping him on and off the field. He’s very keen to get himself playing the way he can because there’s a lot of years left in him.

“We’re building a strong indigenous program through all of the cultures at the club, to have those sorts of people around him is a positive for us," he said. 

“To create that type of environment, we’re looking forward to him getting back to his best. That’s the goal for all players: create that environment where they enjoy coming to work and they're keen to do it for each other through their mateship.

"That's what footy teams is all about and that is what we are pushing for at Wests Tigers.”

With the likes of James Tamou and Paul Momirovski set to return off the back of their respective grand final commitments, the Wests Tigers Coach said there was plenty of momentum being built heading in to 201.

“We have a big focus on what we are doing with our new players coming in and I’m looking forward to welcoming Tamou," he said.

"We have Paul Momirovski who’s returning form Melbourne – the pair of them both being around the Grand Final is a good thing. We have players who will come in and add a lot to what we are doing."