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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 2 October, 2014

It’s official: Munster confirm Tony McGahan’s departure

Thomond Park chief is to take up a job as Australia’s defence coach at the end of the season.

Munster coach Tony McGahan at squad training at Cork IT yesterday.
Munster coach Tony McGahan at squad training at Cork IT yesterday.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

TONY MCGAHAN WILL leave Munster at the end of the season, the province have confirmed this morning.

News emerged from Limerick last night that the province’s head coach is to take up the job as Wallabies’ defensive coach.

And this morning, as expected, Munster released the following on their Twitter page: “Munster Rugby would like to confirm that Tony McGahan will leave at the end of the season”

Earlier, one former Thomond Park favourite said losing McGahan would be a blow to the Reds.

“Well he’ll certainly be a loss,” Alan Quinlan told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today.

“He’s put a lot of hard work in in the last number of years. He’s very popular with the players and the staff. [L]ast year was his toughest, not making the [Heineken Cup] quarter-finals. So there was a bit of pressure on him. But he certainly turned it around this year and Munster have been fantastic this year to get to the  quarter-finals.

“The fans have been really invigorated again and excited by the whole thing. He’s done a great job and he will be a loss. ”

Quinlan agrees however that the opportunity to return to his homeland with a young family and take up the role with the Australian national team is a pull factor too strong to resist.

“I’ll be sad to see Tony go.  I’ve worked with him for a long time with Munster over a number of years but I think it’s a great opportunity for Tony now to get back and work with the national team in Australia. He has a couple of young kids and it’s a good move and time for Tony to move home, he feels himself I’m sure,” he added.

Donal Lenihan meanwhile says that McGahan’s legacy in Limerick will be his blooding of the Reds’ young talent during a tricky transitional period.

“I think he was part of the Munster management when they won the Heineken Cup in 2006 and 2008 but I think his biggest contribution has been the number of Munster players he’s brought through,” he told Darragh Maloney.

“I mean Munster, against all the odds, have gone unbeaten in the Heineken Cup this year and have had nine players who’ve made their Heineken Cup debuts this year. He probably had the most difficult role in having to oversee the transition.”

More to follow

We’re ready to put our bodies on the line, insists O’Connell

Joe Canning suffers injury set-back during Fitzgibbon Cup clash

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