Josh McGuire could have featured in Samoa’s history-making World Cup side under Matt Parish at the recent World Cup in England.
However, the new Warrington recruit admits that he turned down the chance to instead focus on a full pre-season with his new club ahead of the 2023 campaign.
McGuire had put his hand up to represent his heritage at the delayed 2021 tournament in England before deciding to put his new side first following his recent two-year deal at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The 32-year-old makes the move from St George Illawarra Dragons, having made more than 250 appearances across his career in the NRL since 2009.
McGuire, who won the World Cup with Australia in 2017, has won seven caps for Samoa, having made his international debut with the side in 2010.
However, the forward explained to Love Rugby League that he went against his decision to represent the side once again to be ready for his Super League debut, ultimately missing out on the chances of playing at St James’ Park, Emirates Stadium and eventually Old Trafford.
Josh McGuire explains Samoa omission
“I was going to play for Samoa, but I pulled out to start pre-season here,” McGuire said.
“We made a decision, myself, Daryl Powell and Karl Fitzpatrick, that it was in the best interest of the club and myself to come here for a full pre-season.
“I spoke with Matt Parish too. I was going to play but I told him that it was a decision that we made, us and Warrington, that it benefitted me to have a full pre-season with the club.
“On one hand, I was disappointed but on the other I’m so grateful to be here and it’s a good opportunity to build some relationships with the guys here.”
McGuire instead watched as a spectator, and believes teams are closing in on Australia, who have won 12 World Cup titles in their history.
“I’ve played for both Samoa and Australia, and the final was a good game of football,” he told Love Rugby League. “I thought the better team won. Australia were class the whole tournament, but the gap is closing between Australia and everybody else.
“England, the way they performed at the start, they probably played their best game in their first game. I think that gap with Australia used to be pretty unbeatable, but that’s definitely closing with the rise of the Pacific nations and the English guys who have come to the NRL, the likes of Victor Radley and Dominic Young.”