McGahan says he’ll make Wallabies ruthless
Wallabies coaching coordinator Tony McGahan believes he can give the Australian side a cut-throat edge after arriving back from Irish club Munster to begin his term as Robbie Deans’ new right-hand man.
Munster were knocked out of the Pro12 semi-finals by Ospreys last Friday meaning McGahan can immediately begin work with Deans and his fellow new assistants Andrew Blades and Nick Scrivener in the lead-up to the June Tests against Scotland and Wales.
During his seven-year tenure at Munster as defence and head coach, the club won the Heineken Cup in 2006 and 2008 and also beat the touring Australians in an incredible result in 2010.
McGahan says European rugby is more comparable to the rigours of Test matches than Super Rugby because winning is all that matters and bonus points are irrelevant.
He’s confident his experience will help him bring a ruthless edge to the Wallabies.
“Certainly, it’s linked higher to where Test rugby is with regards to the breakdown, set piece, dominating field position and kicking of the highest quality which means mistakes are punished,” McGahan told AAP.
“As opposed to a normal tournament (like Super Rugby) where bonus points are critical, Test match rugby is win or loss.
“So that cut mentality that’s certainly prevalent in European rugby, that mindset, will mean I can hopefully add value and bring some of those elements back to the Wallabies.”
McGahan says he’s excited by the developments the Wallabies made last year, despite their World Cup failure, and believes there’s a good foundation in place for success in the mid-year Tests and the Rugby Championship.
His main brief will be to coach the Wallabies’ defence but, as coaching coordinator, McGahan will assist Deans and provide support to the whole staff.
During his time as a schoolteacher at Brisbane’s Anglican Church Grammar and Nudgee College and as a coaching coordinator with the Australian under-19 side, McGahan had early experience working with Wallabies Rocky Elsom, Richard Brown, David Pocock, James Horwill, Digby Ioane and Tatafu Polota-Nau.
“We haven’t really seen each other for a long period of time … they’ve certainly changed and grown into very influential international players, not only Wallabies,” he said.
“And I’ve certainly changed a lot too, so it’ll be interesting.
“But having a history with players makes the introduction back into any environment a little bit easier.”© AAP 2013