On the move: Josh McGuire deal confirmed
Josh McGuire has played his last game for the Cowboys with the veteran forward agreeing to join high-flying St George Illawarra immediately.
McGuire missed North Queensland's first win of the season against the Tigers on Sunday with an infected elbow, however the issue is not expected to sideline him long-term. He spent 36 hours in hospital last week.
The deal between the Cowboys and St George Illawarra has been agreed to. All that is left is final paperwork to be sorted out with the Dragons hopeful McGuire he could line-up for the club as early as Sunday against the Warriors. The Dragons need the paperwork finalised by Tuesday afternoon to enable them to include the 31-year-old in their side.
The Dragons pursued McGuire during the pre-season but he opted to remain a Cowboy under new coach Todd Payten. But that has lasted just four games with the struggling Cowboys giving the former Queensland and Australian forward permission to negotiate with rival clubs. His favoured destination was always the Dragons where McGuire will reunite with former Broncos coach Anthony Griffin until at least the end of next year. He joins a long-list of players including Ben Hunt, Corey Norman and Andrew McCullough who had a prior association with Griffin before he joined the club. The trio have rejuvenated their careers under Griffin.
The Dragons also added Panthers back-rower Billy Burns in a player swap with Eddie Blacker last week.
St George Illawarra signed McGuire's North Queensland teammate Francis Molo on a three-year deal.
The Cowboys originally inquired about a potential swap deal with Dragons No. 7 Adam Clune but that trade deal is not on the table at the moment. Clune has become vital for the Dragons given the absence of Ben Hunt. He is also the back-up option should hooker Andrew McCullough go down injured.
They will also likely learn the fate of Jack de Belin this month after the former NSW lock returned to court on Monday.
Originally published as On the move: Josh McGuire deal confirmed