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Michael Maguire’s future as Wests Tigers coach could hinge on Penrith Panthers, Michael Chammas says

Michael Maguire‘s fight to save his job as Wests Tigers coach could hinge on how deep the Panthers venture in the finals, Sydney Morning Herald reporter Michael Chammas says.

The development comes, Chammas says, as the Tigers prepare to install 2005 premiership-winning mentor Tim Sheens as coaching director, regardless of whether Maguire keeps his job.

Chammas’ mail is Panthers assistant coach Cameron Ciraldo is the chief contender to take over from Maguire, but he says Ciraldo is intent on not pursuing the job until Penrith’s season is done.

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While Penrith could bow out in their knockout semi-final clash with Parramatta on Saturday night, their season could also remain alive until as late as October 3 – the date of the grand final.

Chammas has reported on Sydney’s Nine News that the timing of the Panthers’ finals exit might not suit the Tigers, potentially leading to the embattled club giving up on Ciraldo and letting Maguire coach in 2022.

Sheens was originally lured back to Concord in May as head of football performance, working as a consultant in pathways, but his appointment to coaching director will have him oversee the coach.

It’s easy to think that a coach of Maguire’s pedigree – he guided the Rabbitohs to the premiership in 2014 – would be miffed at having someone direct him.

But legendary rugby league coach Phil Gould believes Maguire would welcome the appointment.

“I think he’d appreciate Tim Sheens’ experience and everything he’s done,” Gould said on Nine’s 100% Footy.

“(Sheens has) been a great development coach for a long time, as well.

“He was first brought in there to do pathways, to try and work out how they could get talent and develop talent back into their roster over the next few years, and take a longer-term approach to it.

“But (in) being coaching director he can do that and assist the coaching staff to keep their eyes on the prize during the course of the season.”

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