Wallaby mentor to coach Rebels

Mon, 08 Jul 2013 07:21
Large tony mcgahan Large damien hill rebels Large tony mcgahan   robbie deans

The mass exodus at the Rebels extended to the coaching staff, with Damien Hill following James O'Connor and Nick Phipps out the door.

The mass exodus at the Rebels franchise extended to the coaching staff on Monday, with news that Damien Hill has followed Test star James O'Connor and scrumhalf Nick Phipps out the door.

The Melbourne-based Super Rugby franchise has appointed Wallabies coaching co-ordinator Tony McGahan as the new head coach.

McGahan, the former Director of Rugby at Irish powerhouse Munster and most recently part of the Wallabies' unsuccessful campaign against the British and Irish Lions, will take over from Hill next month on a two-year contract.

Hill had been asked to re-apply for his job midway through his second year as coach but was unsuccessful with the Rebels managing only four wins in the Super Rugby this season, ahead of their final game of the season against the Highlanders on Friday.

Rebels Chief Executive Rob Clarke said applications were considered from 16 coaches and highlighted McGahan's international credentials at the top level in Europe and Australia as part of why he was chosen.

"Tony comes to Melbourne highly regarded as an international coach with a record of success at the top level," he said.

After leaving Australia in 2005, McGahan enjoyed success in Japan and then spent seven years at Munster.

As defence coach and later Director of Rugby he oversaw the team who won two European Cups and two Pro12 (previously Celtic League) titles.

He also coached Munster to their historic 15-6 win over the touring Wallabies in 2010 before being appointed as Australia's coaching coordinator last year.

His arrival and Hill's departure continues a raft of sweeping changes at the club, which announced on Sunday that Wallaby James O'Connor would not be given a new contract.

Among other players leaving are Nick Phipps, Gareth Delve, Tim Davidson, and Cooper Vuna.

AFP

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