St George Illawarra players are excited about the edge Josh McGuire will add to their forward pack after the former Kangaroos and Maroons forward finalised a mid-season transfer from North Queensland.
McGuire will join the Dragons on Wednesday after signing until the end of the 2022 season and has been named in coach Anthony Griffin’s 21-man squad for Sunday’s match against the Warriors, alongside fellow new signing Billy Burns.
“Where he fits in I am not too sure,” second-rower Josh Kerr said. “We are obviously on a winning streak so we are going pretty well but Hook might have to have a tough conversation with someone or he might just have to earn his way in.”
However, Kerr and former Blues forward Trent Merrin, who has had a number of run-ins with McGuire in Origin, said he would be a welcome addition to the Red V squad.
“He has got the mongrel about him, he has got that seniority and he has played rep footy so he is a great player to have in your team,” Merrin said.
Kerr, who was a member of last year’s Queensland Origin squad, grew up watching McGuire play for the Maroons
“I used to watch him on TV and I used to think, ‘we have got Josh McGuire, we have got a bit of mongrel in the pack’. I think that’s why Hook has got him,” Kerr said.
Griffin coached McGuire at Brisbane, and recently added Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough to the St George Illawarra squad, which also includes their former team-mates Ben Hunt and Corey Norman.
The Dragons stunned Parramatta last Sunday night to move into the top four after four consecutive wins and confidence within the team is sky high after the inclusion of McGuire and Burns, who has moved into a spare room at his sister’s place near WIN Stadium after transferring from Penrith.
“It is interesting to see the Broncos old team come back together at the Dragons but it is good,” Kerr said. “The blokes Hook has bought in have done a tremendous job and I am enjoying my football more than I ever have.
“Hook knows what he can do and he is going to bring that bit of mongrel to the team. As long as he wants to jump in with the culture I am all for it.”
Merrin said: “I actually loved playing against Josh, to be honest. I’ve always enjoyed our battles over the years, but it would be a lot better with him in the team. I know what sort of player we are getting and I am excited for it.”
Meanwhile, Burns said he had agreed to a swap deal involving prop Eddie Blacker moving to Penrith from St George Illawarra for the opportunity to play alongside experienced stars like Hunt, Norman, McCullough and McGuire.
“I reckon big things will come to this club,” Burns said. “I have only been here a week but it is quite a hungry group and it is good to see that there are a few old heads, but they are still zeroed in on succeeding and helping the young boys in the squad.
“I think the oldest player at Penrith was Api [Koroisau], who is 28, so it is a good opportunity for me to learn off them about the way they prep and the way they play.”