Wests Tigers retain Michael Maguire as coach after club review

Michael Maguire will coach on at Wests Tigers next season, but do so under the guise of Tim Sheens Albert Perez/Getty Images

Michael Maguire's position at Wests Tigers is safe, with the club confirming they would stick by the under-fire NRL head coach.

A board meeting on Monday was scheduled to decide Maguire's fate after considering findings from a review into the football department, which followed another season without finals football.

The former South Sydney coach was under immense pressure to hold on to his job and Monday's meeting was considered to be the death knell on his three-year tenure at the Tigers.

During Maguire's tenure the Tigers have slipped from ninth, to 11th and 13th in 2021, missing finals for the 10th straight season.

However, in a remarkable turnaround over the past 24 hours club hierarchy have now backed Maguire for 2022, announcing but not specifying structural and procedural changes within the football department.

It comes after Monday's meeting was cancelled at the 11th hour with the board needing more time to consider its position.

"While we always understood this review and process would take time, it was the responsibility of the football committee to ensure all information was considered to make the right decisions for the club moving forward," Wests Tigers chief executive Justin Pascoe said.

"Michael has been with the club over arguably its most challenging time with the COVID-19 pandemic, has overseen significant change both on and off the field throughout his tenure and, on behalf of all at Wests Tigers, I'd like to thank him for his effort so far.

"We are firmly committed to building a high performing club.

"With our strong financial position, increased investment and recent success of our pathways teams, the new Centre of Excellence and continued work on a South West academy, the arrival of Tim Sheens and his experience in NRL systems, this club is posed to reap the rewards of several years of hard work.

"We believe that through Michael's vast experience and by continuing to challenge the way we operate, we will continue drive the high standards and behaviours needed to ensure we achieve our goals as a club."

Maguire had long asked for patience in developing a youthful Tigers squad and on Tuesday he was granted some.

If the Tigers had pulled the trigger they would have been forced to pay out Maguire, who has two years left on his contract, about $750,000.

He was re-signed by the club last December until the end of 2023. The Tigers have won just 38.2% of games under Maguire and are yet to string together three wins in a row while he has been at the helm.