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McGuire leaves Broncos for Cowboys

mcguire-cowboys.jpg

(AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

North Queensland will head into the 2019 NRL season with arguably the strongest forward pack in the competition after signing Australian lock Josh McGuire to a four-year deal.

McGuire on Monday was released from the final two seasons of his Brisbane contract to take up a rich deal with the Cowboys worth a reported $3.2 million.

The Queensland and Test back-rower will add significant punch to a Cowboys forward unit which already features Jason Taumalolo, Matt Scott, Jordan McLean, Coen Hess and Gavin Cooper.

"I coached Josh as a junior at both the Queensland Academy of Sport and the Broncos Academy and have followed his career closely," Cowboys coach Paul Green said.

"His development over the years has really impressed me, and to reconnect and have the opportunity to work with him again, is something I'm personally really looking forward to.

"I'm really excited about what Josh can bring to the Cowboys."

Where McGuire will play next year remains unclear.

Taumalolo is regarded as the world's best No.13 and McGuire is known to dislike playing in the front row.

It's ends McGuire's 10-year tenure at the Broncos where he made 194 appearances, as well as playing 11 State of Origins for Queensland and eight Tests for the Kangaroos.

It means the Broncos will head into 2019 with a new-look middle forward rotation after the retirement of Sam Thaiday and Korbin Sims' move to St George Illawarra.

It will give the Broncos valuable salary-cap room with Tevita Pangai Junior, Matt Lodge and Corey Oates un-signed for 2019.

The Broncos appear set for a shake-up with Alex Glenn linked with an immediate move to Gold Coast and Jordan Kahu reportedly weighing up a defection to rugby union.

© AAP 2018