McGuire scraps mateship for Origin match
WHILE there will be no love lost if they meet on the field in Origin III on Wednesday night, Queensland firebrand Josh McGuire says he is delighted to see great mate Tariq Sims finally get his chance to run out for the Blues.
Sims and McGuire rose through the ranks together in the Brisbane Broncos' under-20 system before Sims left to join the Cowboys.
"I grew up with Taz, he played at the Broncos in the 20s and I played with his brothers (Ashton and Korbin) as well," said McGuire, the man NSW fans love to hate and the Maroons' toughest enforcer.
"He's a really good fella and he's been waiting for his opportunity for a long time for Origin and he's finally got it, which he deserves.
"I'm happy for him because he's definitely an Origin-level player."
Don't expect McGuire to do his mate any favours, though, with the Maroons preparing for a match that is anything but a dead rubber to them.
"It's a State of Origin game, we go into it wanting to win the game," McGuire said.
"Nobody wants to lose in a whitewash and it will hopefully put us in good stead for next year if we can take a win into the next series."
This year's Origin experience has been different for McGuire, after making his Origin debut in game one, 2015, the year after the Blues' last series victory.
"I've never lost a series (before now). It's different to winning one, that's for sure," he said.
"It's disappointing. It's something that as a rugby league player you have to get used to.
"Obviously there's always got to be a winner and you can't win all the time.
"I'm disappointed but now it's just about playing good, consistent footy and hopefully we put in a good effort and I get another opportunity to have a crack at them next year."
The Queensland forwards have copped criticism this series, but McGuire describes talk of a lack of punch as just "opinions".
"People are just going to have opinions. That's what it is, it's someone's opinion," he said.
"I feel we were pretty unlucky not to get game two. I think our boys in the middle did a pretty good job.
"But people are going to have their opinions and people are entitled to their opinions.
"As players, we've just got to roll with the punches and cop whatever comes on the chin."