NRL 2024: Michael Maguire, Jack Wighton, NSW Blues, State of Origin, representative retirement, camp, Queensland Maroons


NSW coach Michael Maguire is hopeful Jack Wighton will come out of representative retirement as he outlined his plans for the Blues at a camp this week.

Maguire kicked off his NSW Blues tenure with a two-day camp consisting of 36 established and emerging players in a bid to answer Queensland’s recent dominance in the Origin arena.

Maguire told SEN radio that his wish was to unite all sections of NSW to get behind the Blues.

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“I enjoyed working in Canberra over the last 12 months with Ricky Stuart and the playing group including Jack,” Maguire said on SEN radio.

“Jack wants to settle himself in Sydney and with his new club (the Rabbitohs).

“He’s still retired but I told him to get himself playing and see how he’s travelling.

“We’ll have a discussion as the season transpires. We all know he’s a big game player whenever he’s in that arena.

“In time, I’m sure Jack will decide whether he’s ready to go again.”

Wighton scored three tries in 10 Origins for the Blues from his debut in 2019 to 2022 and also scored three tries in seven Tests for the Kangaroos over the same time period.

Maguire is trying to put an end to Billy Slater’s two straight series victories since taking over the Maroons’ side after Brad Fittler’s tenure came to an end after last year.

The 50-year-old wants a Blues team that can unite the state against their bitter Queensland rivals.

“The reason behind me wanting to do this role is to (bring together) a town of 4 million plus,” Maguire said.

“I want to show the people of NSW from the city, to the country and to the beaches to galvanise and get behind a team they can be proud of.

“It’s something that I really enjoy and that starts this weekend (at camp).

“I have brought a lot of quality players together and have had some high quality conversations with some of the boys who have been around the Origin arena.

“You can see what it means to them and the fact they want to perform for the people of NSW.

“We have had a mixed bag of results and all the players are hungry to build something special.”

Originally published as ‘Jack will decide’: Madge leaves door open for Wighton’s Blues retirement backflip