“Every time you wear the jersey you never know when it could be your last”: McGuire

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    Josh McGuire’s joy over his Kangaroos recall has been tempered by good mate Sam Thaiday’s axing ahead of the Rugby League World Cup.

    Brisbane lock McGuire feared he would be a one-Test wonder after being overlooked for the 2016 Four Nations campaign and this year’s trans-Tasman clash.

    However, McGuire received coach Mal Meninga’s backing when the Kangaroos’ World Cup squad was unveiled – much to his relief.

    “I never took the green and gold jersey for granted,” said McGuire, who played his sole Test in May 2016.

    “Every time you wear the jersey you never know when it could be your last.

    “I just want to make the most of this opportunity.”

    Broncos teammate Thaiday wasn’t so fortunate.

    Thaiday gave Meninga a well documented social media spray for not calling to alert him he had missed the World Cup cut before the squad was announced.

    McGuire admitted it felt different not having his Queensland State of Origin teammate around.

    “I have had a lot to do with Sam,” McGuire said of the 32-Test veteran who will retire after the 2018 NRL season.

    “This is the first time I haven’t played rep football without him.

    “It was hard for Mal. He had to make some hard decisions.

    “It is hard to see friends like that go through tough moments in their career but I am sure Sammy will be back bigger and better next year.”

    McGuire has already impressed in Kangaroos camp.

    He has reportedly ditched best man duties at his brother’s wedding so he can play Australia’s warm-up games in Fiji.

    The Kangaroos fly out on Thursday for Fiji where they will play a mini warm-up tournament also featuring PNG.

    Teams play each other on Saturday with all three games lasting 40 minutes.

    It will mark Australia’s first clash in Fiji.

    © AAP 2017