Friday 24 November 2017

Munster set to come under pressure to retain services of McGahan

Hugh Farrelly

DESPITE an impressive season so far and growing support behind his continuing as Munster coach, Tony McGahan says his future with the province is unclear.

The Australian has placed the province in a commanding position at the mid-point of the season but has told the Irish Independent a decision on his future has yet to be made, with discussions to take place in the near future.

"It is certainly a topic that will come up in the next period of time," said McGahan. "We will just have to wait and see how things pan out for myself and the club."

McGahan came under pressure at the start of last year after Munster failed to get out of their Heineken Cup pool for the first time in 13 seasons with CEO Garret Fitzgerald issuing a message of support at the time.

However, McGahan then steered Munster to Magners League glory, before overcoming injury and transition issues to guide his side to four wins from four in this season's Heineken Cup as well as a top-four position in the Pro12.

He has also gained considerable credit for bringing young players through with the likes of Conor Murray, Danny Barnes and Simon Zebo thriving under his coaching.

Former Munster hooker Frankie Sheahan, who played under McGahan towards the end of his own career, has backed the Australian's work with province, highlighting his steps to correct the problems of last season.

"Tony McGahan is an excellent coach," said Sheahan. "Particularly his attention to detail, this guy would be at his desk at 7.0 every morning and making phone calls at 11.30 at night.

"You can only play with what you have and there were certain areas that cost Munster last year. Midfield was one and the other was the scrum and he signed BJ Botha and he has been huge for Munster, he has shored up the scrum."

Irish Independent

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