TONY McGahan won't forget about Warwick when he takes his place in the Wallabies coaching box a month from tonight at Suncorp Stadium.
Last month, McGahan was appointed Wallabies coaching co-ordinator. The Wallabies' first Test of the season is against Scotland in Newcastle on June 5. They play Wales at Suncorp Stadium on June 9 and then in Melbourne and Sydney on the following two Saturdays.
He gives a lot of credit to Bill McVeigh and Greg Carey at Collegians juniors, Peter Nolan and David Abood at the Cowboys for a successful career as a player and coach.
"They really helped me with my footy in Warwick," McGahan said.
In 1990, he was halfback and captain of the Warwick Cowboys under-18 side which won the Toowoomba Rugby League premiership under the coaching of Abood. Now, 22 years later, McGahan will soon take on a role with the Wallabies in rugby union where he is understudy to head coach Robbie Deans.
McGahan said the support from his mother Marion was the sole reason he had achieved so much.
"She has shown us that we can achieve anything with strength and perseverance. Mum continues to be an inspiration," he said.
"It was a tough time, absolutely, after the death of my dad (John) when I was 13, the oldest of four."
After leaving school and playing rugby league for the Broncos under-21 side for two years and a bit of reserve-grade, McGahan worked in physical education as a teacher, and his career as a coach evolved at Nudgee College, Churchie and with Easts rugby club in Brisbane.
McGahan said his role with the Wallabies was to add value to the program.
"We are now working towards the next World Cup in England in 2015," he said.
Depending on the progress of Munster in the finals, McGahan could be home as early as May 18.
It was an Ireland victory against the Wallabies which put Deans and his team in a finals battle against the All Blacks last year and elimination from the cup.
"In the top-four, there is not a lot of room for error," McGahan said.
"You have to empower the players to be successful."
In eight years at Munster in Ireland, McGahan was assistant coach for Heineken Cup wins in 2005-2006 and 2007-2008, and head coach for Magners League wins in 2008-2009 and 2010-2011.
"I had a wonderful time in Ireland and received fantastic support at Munster," McGahan said.
"I am looking forward to going home to Australia."