McGuire interest won’t force Scott out
COWBOYS director of football Peter Parr has confirmed the club's interest in Broncos hardman Josh McGuire, but he strongly refuted claims that veteran prop Matt Scott is on the verge of retirement.
The Cowboys are reportedly chasing McGuire for the 2019 season on a lucrative long-term deal as they look to bolster their front row stocks.
McGuire has three years remaining on his current contract with the Broncos, but it is understood the club would grant him a release for a move to North Queensland.
McGuire has played 194 games for the Broncos since debuting in 2009, and has also appeared in 11 State of Origin games for the Maroons and 15 Tests for Australia.
NRL.com reported on Thursday that the 28-year-old had contacted his Broncos team mates from Fiji where he is holidaying to tell them he has played his last game for the club.
Parr said the Cowboys have had discussions with McGuire's management, but he denied they had already reached an agreement which would see him join them as soon as next season.
"There's been no secret that we're looking for a middle forward and Josh is one player that we have spoken to his management, among others," Parr said.
"Whilst we've had discussions there's been no decision made yet on where that will end up going forward.
"To say that we have an agreement with him or that he's definitely coming is just premature at this stage."
McGuire's potential arrival would give the Cowboys another world-class middle forward alongside Test stars Jordan McLean and Jason Taumalolo and 251-game stalwart Scott, who is off-contract at season's end.
Scott is recovering from neck surgery for the second time in four seasons and rumours continue to swirl about his playing future after being restricted to 18 games last season.
The 33-year-old trained with the rehab group as he returned for preseason on Monday, but Parr was adamant that the club's interest in McGuire was not an indication of Scott's fitness.
"The middle of the field is where your attrition is with either injury or suspension and we felt that we were probably one player short there," Parr said.
"That's why we've been having a look around, but those discussions that we've had with different agents and different players have got nothing to do with Matt Scott's injury.
"Matt Scott's a legend at this club and we expect him to come back as good as ever and play a lot of games next year."