Sean O’Loughlin praises Michael Maguire ahead of NZ Test

England rugby league captain Sean O’Loughlin praised former coach Michael Maguire ahead of next week’s first Test against New Zealand in the USA.

Maguire, who coached O’Loughlin at Wigan, takes charge of his first New Zealand game since he was appointed to replace David Kidwell last month.

The Australian guided Wigan to their first Grand Final win in over a decade in 2010, and added the Challenge Cup a year later before returning to the NRL with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

“He’ll be a big asset for them – knowing what he did here in such a short space of time and how he flicked us round in an off-season almost,” said O’Loughlin.

“He might not get as much time with the boys but he’ll be familiar with a lot of the lads from playing in the NRL so he’ll know what he’s got on his plate and what he can get from the boys.

“I think he’ll have a big influence on them.”

O’Loughlin will not be the only familiar face Maguire will come up against, having also coached England’s Sam, Tom and George Burgess at his time in South Sydney.

The one-off Test in Denver, will be the first time a match this big has been played in the USA for 18 years.