“I play footy, and as long as my teammates enjoy playing with me and my coach is happy playing me, I get paid to do my job,” McGuire said.
“Until that changes, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. I don’t have social media, I have Instagram, that’s about it, so I don’t care about [any labels]. It doesn’t worry me. I have only been charged with contrary conduct, that’s all I know.
“I play footy. It just happens, I guess. I’ve played like that since I was a little fella. Nothing has changed.”
Queensland teammate Tim Glasby became one of McGuire’s victims during a club game last year, but would not swap the bearded enforcer for anybody else.
“‘Moose’ plays aggressively and pushes the boundaries a bit,” Glasby said. “He got done for stomping on me last year and I didn’t even know he had done it. I think he got fined. I saw him in camp the following week and we laughed about it.
“He’s that old-school aggressive middle player, he might cross the line a couple of times, but you take the good with the bad.
“Not everyone can be super aggressive because it can become messy, but if you’ve got a few blokes like that in your team, it works well.”
Paul Gallen and Greg Bird used to love getting in the faces of Queensland, while David Klemmer has taken the fight to the northerners with his aggression – but McGuire is in a class of his own.
Mark Geyer loved stirring up the Queenslanders – he once went toe to toe with ‘King’ Wally Lewis – but was a fan of McGuire’s style.
“He has to be careful with these facials he’s been doing of late, but I thought he was their best forward in Origin I,” Geyer said. “He’s their leader now with no Thaiday. He’s basically the forward we need to stop on Sunday.
“He never stopped niggling Cam Murray, it was like a ‘Welcome to Origin’. He’ll do the same with Daniel Saifiti and [Dale] Finucane, he’s the master of it. He has such a good motor, I actually love the way he plays.”
Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.