South Sydney part ways with Michael Maguire by mutual consent effective immediately.

SOUTH Sydney owner Russell Crowe paid tribute to Michael Maguire for bringing the Rabbitohs “out of the 43-year wilderness” just hours after he was axed as Rabbitohs head coach.

The Rabbitohs sensationally sacked head coach Maguire, just three years after he led the club to a famous grand final triumph.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal Anthony Seibold, the man who helped engineer Queensland’s remarkable State of Origin victory this year, has become the leading contender to coach South Sydney.

Crowe, who embraced Maguire on the ANZ Stadium turf when they ended their 43-year premiership drought in 2014, spoke glowingly of the 43-year-old.

“Michael has given South Sydney six dedicated years, he brought us a premiership, brought us out of the 43 year wilderness,” Maguire said.

“I hold him in the highest regard as a Coach and as a man. The fact that the board, the chairman, the CEO, the GM of football and Michael were able to talk frankly about future direction and come to an amicable and mutual agreement speaks to maturity of our culture which Michael has given so much effort to building.”

Less than 12 months after signing a three-year extension, Maguire fronted a Rabbitohs board meeting yesterday and was dumped, effective immediately, with two years remaining on his contract.

“He took us from the shit house to the penthouse,” Souths legend Craig Coleman said. “It’s a sad day for Souths fans. He did a fantastic job.”

In a statement, Souths claimed Maguire’s sacking was in the club’s “best interests.”

The Daily Telegraph understands Maguire was genuinely shocked when told of his axing.

The senior playing group were also taken by surprise. They were not consulted and only found out after the decision had been made.

Rising young forward Angus Crichton could not be reached because he was undergoing surgery.

“It’s time for a change here at South Sydney,” Souths general manager of football Shane Richardson said.

The Daily Telegraph understands the Gold Coast Titans and English club Warrington have expressed strong interest in Maguire, who had a successful stint with Wigan before taking the reins at Redfern.

Rookie coach Seibold, 42, is now favourite to succeed Maguire. It would be a gamble as head coach but he comes with a strong reputation.

Fellow Rabbitohs assistant and former Canberra coach David Furner is also in the frame, although the board will give some thought to casting the net beyond Redfern to find Maguire’s replacement.

“Michael helped deliver the premiership title in 2014 and for this we will always be indebted to him. He led us to the premiership victory, the 2015 Auckland Nines win and the 2015 World Club Challenge,” Richardson said.

Rising young forward Angus Crichton could not be reached because he was undergoing surgery.

“It’s time for a change here at South Sydney,” Souths general manager of football Shane Richardson said.

The Daily Telegraph understands the Gold Coast Titans and English club Warrington have expressed strong interest in Maguire, who had a successful stint with Wigan before taking the reins at Redfern.

Rookie coach Seibold, 42, is now favourite to succeed Maguire. It would be a gamble as head coach but he comes with a strong reputation.

Fellow Rabbitohs assistant and former Canberra coach David Furner is also in the frame, although the board will give some thought to casting the net beyond Redfern to find Maguire’s replacement.

“Michael helped deliver the premiership title in 2014 and for this we will always be indebted to him. He led us to the premiership victory, the 2015 Auckland Nines win and the 2015 World Club Challenge,” Richardson said.

“However, we feel it’s time for the club to go along a different path in terms of the leadership of the team and the direction the team is taking, and they are the responsibilities of the head coach.

“Michael also feels it’s in his best interest to head in a different direction in his coaching career.

“He is a great head coach and we believe he will go on to do a good job at another club, but as I said, it’s time for a change here at South Sydney.

“Michael will always be remembered as the coach of our 21st premiership side, he helped bring this club to a new level of professionalism, and we wish him and his family the best of luck for what lies ahead in his career and his family’s future.”

Maguire’s fate was sealed by the Rabbitohs’ recent 64-6 hammering from Melbourne Storm two weeks ago.

Souths insiders claim the club needed to move away from Maguire’s hard-nosed, relentless approach.

Seibold is a Souths assistant coach who filled the same role for the Maroons in the 2-1 series win over the Blues this year. He is also a former Manly assistant coach.

Rockhampton-born Seibold is an ex-Canberra Raiders and Brisbane Broncos player who also played in England and France.

Furner was Paul Green’s assistant coach when North Queensland won the 2015 grand final.

Maguire will seek and receive his payout from the club.

Souths missed the finals again this year with a 64-6 hammering against

Melbourne round 25 signalling the end for Maguire.

http://www.news.com.au/sport/nrl/rabbitohs/michael-maguire-leaves-south-sydney-effective-immediatley-by-mutual-consent/news-story/20b834695f214c9ffd35b5200a101895

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