Hagan joins Maroons camp

Knights coach Michael Hagan has agreed to join the Maroons camp for the 2003 State of Origin series and it could be a pre cursor for Hagan, as the Maroons search for a possible replacement for current coach Wayne Bennett.

The first match is due to be played on June 11 and the Knights have agreed to release Hagan from club duties for the week leading up to the first Origin match as the Knights have the bye the previous week.

Hagan said “it should be a great experience and I'm really looking forward to it already”.

Hagan is an undoubted success as an NRL coach, having won the premiership in his first year as a first grade coach with the Knights, just as Ricky Stuart did last year with the Roosters.

Hagan is a Queenslander and played five matches for the Maroons between 1989-90 and will join two other former Maroons in Gary Belcher and Kevin Walters as assistants to Wayne Bennett. All three are possible candidates to replace Bennett once he retires from representative coaching.

The Maroons will have a new look this year with the retirement of Allan Langer and the loss of Lote Tuqiri to Rugby, but they will welcome back powerhouse centre Tonie Carroll from a two year stint in the U.K.