Melbourne Super Rugby franchise the Rebels have announced that head coach Tony McGahan will leave the franchise at the end of the season.
McGahan will leave the Club on positive terms as the longest serving and most successful coach in the Rebels’ short history.
Despite an injury ravaged and controversy filled 2017 season, McGahan’s contribution to the Rebels over his four-year tenure has been significant including blooding eight Wallabies, most notably Australian Super Rugby Player of the Year Sean McMahon, and Super Rugby Rookies of the Year, Sefanaia Naivalu and Reece Hodge.
The straight talking Head Coach has continued to unearth a range of future prospects both for the Melbourne Rebels and Australian rugby evident in five Rebels currently on tour with the Qantas Wallabies, and four Rebels excelling in the World Rugby U20s Championships in Georgia.
In a joint statement, both parties said the decision had been made in the best interests of the Rebels in order for the Club to develop the long term direction of the rugby program.
Melbourne Rebels Chief Executive Officer Baden Stephenson acknowledges the impact the former Munster championship coach has had on the club in his time at the helm.
“Tony has been a loyal and committed leader of the Club since the moment he arrived in Melbourne” he said.
“This has been a particularly tough year on and off the field and we are grateful for the resilience and determination Tony has shown to keep the players and staff focussed on performance”
“Tony’s legacy will remain with the club through the program that he has established, processes that are in place and upcoming talent he has nurtured and we wish him the best in his future direction.”
McGahan said he was sorry to be leaving the Rebels but would help wherever required to make the transition as smooth and professional as possible.
“I look forward to following the Rebels as a club and help in the transition of the new coach ensuring that transition is as smooth as possible,” he said.
McGahan has two games remaining in the Super Rugby season and will be seeking to conclude his residency at the Club with victory in both matches.
The Rebels meet the Western Force in Perth on July 7 and McGahan will be farewelled at the final round in Melbourne against the Jaguares from Argentina on July 14.