Tony McGahan comes into the 2014 year as the Rebels new head coach, succeeding Damien Hill and Rod Macqueen before him. A third coach in four years doesn't look too good on the Rebels track record, but rest assured McGahan means business for this season and has already invested a lot of time and energy into training the Rebels during pre-season -- but what do we know about him so far?
Originally from Queensland, McGahan spent his earlier years teaching P.E. at schools before heading overseas to pursue opportunities in European rugby. He took up a position at Pro12 side Munster and spent close to six years at the south Ireland club as a Defence Coach and later as Head Coach. While there, he lead the team to it's third Pro12 title by defeating Leinster 19-9 in the final with a team that had (or has since had) up to eleven players earn a healthy handful of caps for the Irish national team, including current captain Paul O'Connell, as well as All-Black Doug Howlett.
In 2012, McGahan returned to Australia to work with the Wallabies and became the teams Coaching Coordinator.
Check out the YouTube video below of Tony McGahan talking about his arrival at Melbourne and his goals for the Rebels in 2014. Courtesy goes to the Melbourne Rebels official YouTube channel.
McGahan left his Wallabies post and signed a two-year contract for the Rebels at the end of the 2013 seasons and aims to help advance the club well past its (already diminishing) easy-beat status. Already this has involved a tougher training routine, as almost everyone who has been involved in the Rebels pre-season has commented on how hard McGahan has pushed and helped the Melbourne squad over the last few months.
For McGahan and Melbourne's sake, let's hope this hard work can be rewarded with the Rebels hopefully achieving their best season to date, and possibly being an outside chance to make the finals within the years of McGahan's initial contract.
Was Tony McGahan the right choice as Head Coach for the Rebels this season? How do you think he'll go with the young squad over the next two seasons?