You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rebels start search for new Super coach

NZN 14/06/2017 Melissa Woods

The Melbourne Rebels have already fielded inquiries from within Australia and abroad to replace coach Tony McGahan, who will leave at the end of the Super Rugby season.

McGahan and the club have decided to part ways after posting one win from 15 rounds, the Rebels' worst performance since joining the competition in 2011.

With a massive injury toll contributing to the disappointing results, the coach has also had to carry the stress of the Melbourne being a candidate to be cut from the competition by the Australian Rugby Union.

That decision is still be be made but the Rebels are confident their future is safe and have already been linked to Western Force coach Dave Wessels, whose club is the other on the ARU chopping block.

Highly-rated Melbourne assistant, former Wallaby Morgan Turinui could also be an option, although the club would likely look for someone more experienced.

Melbourne chief executive Baden Stephenson said a number of prospective coaches had made contact but the club hadn't started any recruitment process.

"We'll go through a process to get the best coach available," Stephenson said.

"If David happens to be available and that's the way the cards fall ... I think he's done a good job under difficult circumstances this year and is a fairly highly regarded developing coach and would certainly be worth some strong consideration but we haven't officially targeted him because we don't know what the scenario will be."

Stephenson said the timing would depend on the ARU's decision which they hoped would come before the end of July.

Stephenson paid tribute to McGahan's efforts over the last four year, noting he had produced their best results in 2015 and 2106 and a number of current Wallabies including Reece Hodge, Sean McMahon and Toby Smith.

"Tony's a great rugby man, highly respected, genuine personality and will leave a significant hole in our program."

McGahan declined to talk but centre Tom English said the players felt for the coach.

"Unfortunately we've had a bad season and changes are going to happen on the back of that," he said.

"It's important to realise that while Tony is being accountable for that there is also other things at play whether it be our injury profile or the uncertainty going on with our club's future.

"That's not making excuses, that's just saying the blame shouldn't be solely be put on him and it will be sad to see him go."

McGahan has two games remaining against the Western Force on July 7 and Argentina's Jaguares in the last round.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon