Hull KR interim boss Danny McGuire spoke to the media for the first time since taking charge of the club following the departure of Tony Smith.
McGuire, 39, will take control of the club on an interim basis for the remainder of the current Super League season until Willie Peters arrives from the NRL for the 2023 campaign.
Here are some of the key things McGuire had to say on Tuesday.
Tony Smith reaction
“I’ve got mixed emotions. I think in sport you learn with thick skin decisions are made, things happen and you’ve got to adapt and move on pretty much. There’s no getting away from what Tony has done for the club and how far we’ve come since he took charge. My role now is to continue that and grow a little bit towards the back end of the season before Willie Peters arrives.
“I enjoyed working under Tony. I learned a lot and it was really good. His experience and knowledge of the game is second to none and I’ll always have that respect to Tony, and what he did for me as a player as well. I have nothing but good things to say about Tony. We’ve got to move on now and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”
Relishing coaching opportunity
“I’m excited and there’s a bit of nerves as well. It’s not just about coaching on the field, there’s lots of other things behind the scenes you have to deal with as a head coach which I’ve already found out in this short spell. I feel like I’ve got my mojo back and I enjoyed watching the lads out there. I’m excited and looking forward to what lies ahead and the challenge ahead.
“I’m probably not ready to be a head coach and I’ve said that before. I’ve got tons to work and it would be naive of me to think that because I played for a long time I can go on and be a head coach. You’ve got to learn and learn from mistakes. It will give me a good grounding of what it takes to be a head coach.”
New three year contract
McGuire also signed a new three-year extension with the club on the same day Smith’s departure was announced.
“I’ve loved my time here at the club playing and the last two years off field in the coaching staff.
“It’s a really great place to work, great people and I enjoy coming work every day. We have a really honest, good group of lads who want to learn every day. I’m really settled and hoping to keep pushing on and improving as a club.”
McGuire’s first game in charge will be the Hull derby at Magic Weekend at Newcastle’s St James’ Park. Only two points separate the sides on the Super League table.
“It’s interesting. I always loved Magic Weekend as a player and loved the special feeling that it created. If you’re not a team lucky enough to play in finals, then the biggest occasion is Magic Weekend. It is a great stadium to play at and gets the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. It’s another challenge, but I love the derby. It’s not just another game, it means a hell of a lot to a lot of people. We’ll be stressing that throughout the week as well.”
Finally, the new interim boss gave a squad update after only naming a 20-man squad for their trip to Toulouse last week.
“George King is coming on well. It was a hamstring strain, but I think he’ll be struggling for the weekend. We’ll make a call towards the back end of the week.
“Matty Storton is in a pretty bad way with a toe injury. He’s due to go for a scan. I’d be very surprised if we see him in the next few weeks. It looks a pretty nasty one. We’re pretty light in the middle but it gives the opportunity for someone else to put their hand up.
“Jimmy Keinhorst trained and is looking well. Ryan Hall is similar to George and is still struggling a little bit. I’d love to say he’s got a chance for Sunday and he probably does have a small outside challenge. He’s still in a decent amount of pain.
“Lachlan Coote has got a little bit of a foot issue but I’ll be hoping he’ll be okay for Sunday. We’ll make a call on that later this week.”
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