Super League and NRL should never be compared insists Warrington recruit

Josh McAllister
Josh McGuire Warrington Wolves

Photo courtesy of Warrington Wolves.

Super League should never be compared to the NRL competition according to new Warrington recruit Josh McGuire, who enjoyed 14 seasons in Australia. 

McGuire, 32, made more than 250 appearances in the NRL before signing a two-year deal with the Daryl Powell’s Wire.

The forward most recently represented St George Illawarra Dragons, having enjoyed most of his career with Brisbane Broncos from 2009 to 2018. McGuire has represented both Australia and Samoa on the international stage, and made 14 appearances for Queensland in State of Origin.

Now embarking on a new adventure in England, McGuire has laid out his thoughts with a constant comparison between the two competitions either side of the world.

“Personally, I don’t think they should ever compare,” McGuire told Love Rugby League.

“I think they’re two different games. I feel like it’s comparing rugby league to rugby union. It’s played different. There are different conditions and with different developments.

“It’s like State of Origin, I would always say it’s a different sport to the NRL.

“Some NRL guys are really good in the NRL, come here and struggle. It’s vice versa too with Super League guys to the NRL. And some go over and play amazing.

“The likes of John Bateman, Elliott Whitehead, Josh Hodgson; all these guys have showed the class of what English rugby league is.”

Josh McGuire shows off Super League knowledge

McGuire does however believe that Super League provides a special opportunity for half-backs from the NRL to come over and perform at their best.

In recent years, Cade Cust made the move from Manly Sea Eagles to Wigan, where he went on to win the Challenge Cup and make 21 Super League appearances before injury struck in his debut season.

Meanwhile, Jackson Hastings enjoyed a successful stint in England with both Salford and Wigan before earning a contract back in the NRL.

“It’s a good opportunity for halves to come over here,” McGuire stated. “They probably get the keys a little.

“In the NRL, there are halves everywhere. Over here, it’s a bit harder to develop halves. In the NRL, you’ll probably get one or two chances and if you don’t perform, you’ll get cut.

“In Super League, they don’t have that luxury. Look at Jai Field, he couldn’t get a start in the NRL but he’s been fantastic over here. I think he was very unlucky not to win Man of Steel last year. He was fantastic.”

“I’m excited to get out there” – Josh McGuire

Speaking to media for the first time since his move earlier in December, McGuire showed off his Super League knowledge, a competition he can’t wait to get stuck into.

“I’m just excited to get out there,” he said. “You want to play against the best; Wigan, Saints, Catalans…everyone!

“Leeds have a good team this year. Both Hulls are exciting. At the end of the day, we finished second last in 2022. Any way for us is to move up that ladder is to play good footy against everyone.

“There’s a high calibre of ball players over here, too. Jack Welsby from Saints is playing great footy and Lewis Dodd has still got to come back.

“Mikey Lewis from KR is another good young half over here. Leon Hayes is here (Warrington), with George Williams and Josh Drinkwater. Mitchell Pearce as well, and Adam Keighran has gone to Catalans too.”

Warrington kick-off the Super League campaign at home to Leeds on Thursday, February 16.

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