Munster Coach Tony McGahan is leaving his job for the sunnier climate of Australia.
Munster rugby followers are tonight coming to terms with the ‘shock’ news that coach Tony McGahan will leave the province at the end of the season and return to Australia as defence coach to the Wallabies, under Robbie Deans.
From Warwick in Queensland, Australia, a teacher by profession, (BE in Physical Education from Queensland University of Technology), McGahan played Rugby Union (inside centre) with Queensland Schoolboys and Eastern Districts and Rugby League with Queensland U16s/19s, Australian Universities as well as professionally for two seasons with the Brisbane Broncos.
The 38 year old joined Munster in February 2005 as Defence Coach and the following season – with his role expanded to Defence / Backs / Skills Coach – played a central role in Munster securing their first ever Heineken Cup title.
He enjoyed further Heineken Cup success in 2008 when Munster triumphed against Toulouse and in 2009, his first season as Munster Director of Rugby, took the squad to the semi final of the Heineken Cup and victory in the Magners League.
Much speculation tonight as to who will succeed McGahan with strong supporters backing Eddie O’Sullivan whilst several influential Munster voices would like to see Declan Kidney back in charge. Another former player who cannot be ruled out is Michael Bradley now with Edinburgh Rugby
The news of McGahan’s departure, which he made the players aware of tonight, has come at a bad time with key RaboPro 12 and especially Heineken Cup games on the horizon including the semi-final against Ulster.