Departing coach Michael Maguire has raised bar at Wigan

Michael Maguire
Michael Maguire's Warriors won both the Super League and Challenge Cup

Wigan coach Michael Maguire might have bowed out a beaten man on Saturday night, but he has still left a tough challenge for his successor to emulate.

Maguire's number two Shaun Wane has long been tipped to take over as coach.

But, after three trophies in two years, Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan admits that Maguire has set a tough benchmark.

"We have to be winning a trophy every year. That's the target and, if not, we have to be in the final at least," Lenagan told BBC Radio Manchester.

"That's the standard we've set for Wigan.

"The standard that the new coach and future staff have got to live by."

As to when the appointment of Maguire's successor will be confirmed, now that Wigan's season is over following Saturday's 26-18 play-off semi-final exit at St Helens, Lenagan is expected to make an announcement sooner rather than later.

But Maguire will return to Australia to take up the head coach's position at South Sydney Rabbitohs proud of the manner in which he has returned silverware to the Wigan trophy cabinet after a comparatively lean couple of decades.

Having joined the Warriors in October 2009 from Melbourne Storm, where he was assistant coach, Maguire arrived on a two-year contract, with an option of a third to succeed Brian Noble.

But he struck gold at the first attempt, guiding Wigan to the League Leaders' Shield for the first time in 10 years, before claiming the main prize too, a first Super League crown since 1998.

And he followed it up this season by leading Wigan to their first Challenge Cup win since 2002 with the 28-18 victory over Leeds at Wembley.

Wigan helped me grow as coach - Maguire

"I was very honoured from when I walked in the door," Maguire told BBC Radio Manchester. "And, after the two years I've had over here, and the experience we've had of going to Old Trafford last year and Wembley this year, I'm still honoured to have been a part of the history of Wigan.

"Unfortunately you can't write the script you're after every time but I'm very, very proud of the players.

"I've grown, and I'm still growing, as a coach and I think the best part of what this group has done is to have bought into what I did when I first came over.

"They jumped on the hard work and the structures and believed in what we did and we obviously had a good ride on the back end of it."

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