Maguire named New Zealand coach

New Zealand have turned to Michael Maguire, appointing the former South Sydney Rabbitohs head coach as their new boss.

Maguire, 44, has signed a four-year contract, the New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) announced on Thursday.

The NRL premiership-winning coach replaces David Kidwell, who vacated his role following New Zealand's quarter-final defeat at last year's Rugby League World Cup.

New Zealand's top job was opened to offshore candidates and Maguire edged fellow Australians Laurie Daley, former Canterbury Bulldogs coach Des Hasler and ex-Manly Sea Eagles boss Geoff Toovey.

"[Last year] may not have gone in favour of the Kiwis but the beauty of that, is the opportunity to reflect and reset," said Maguire, who left the Rabbitohs at the end of last season.

"My full focus now is on the Kiwis and what we can do to build processes that manifest success which is centred around the respect for the black and white jersey.

"I'm really excited to join [NZRL chairman] Reon [Edwards] and the team to help build a winning culture that brings New Zealand back to the top of the rugby league world. 

"New Zealand already supplies a lot of the top talent in the National Rugby League and English Super League and they've got the biggest nursery as well as the most vocal, passionate and knowledgeable fans.

"Pride in that jersey isn't just for players, it's for the whole of New Zealand. That's the task facing us all at the refreshed NZRL."

Maguire's first match in charge will be against England in Denver on June 23.

The Kiwis will also face England in a three-Test series at the end of the season, with games scheduled in Hull, Liverpool and Leeds.

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