Laurie joins Munster Rugby with a wealth of coaching experience, in his involvement as Head Coach and Assistant Coach with the Super 14 side, ACT Brumbies, over the last eight years. He was also Head Coach of the Australian "A" Side for the last three seasons.
Garrett highlighted the interest in the Forwards Coach position by stating "I had never seen such an interest for a position and this reflects the stature of where Munster currently is. We took our time with the selection process rather that just picking anyone. We wanted someone with experience at the highest level, and a knowledge of the ELV's (Experimental Law Variations) was a bonus at this stage when securing a Head Coach from a Super 14 side."
New Munster Head Coach Tony McGahan also recognised this point when asked about the upcoming ELV's in Northern Hemisphere rugby, pointing out "there will be huge changes, like you see in the Southern Hemisphere, and Laurie's experience with the Brumbies and Super 14 will be of great benefit to Munster Rugby."
On his own postition Tony saw it as "a great opportunity to be involved in such an organisation and it was something I didn't think twice about, the timing was perfect".
Looking to the future he added "there have been alot of changes with the turnover of coaching staff, management changes and potentially a new backrow player, bearing all this in mind, we are looking to evolve going forward, and we want to set the bar higher. Overall the model of Munster Rugby won't change, but the things and practices we do, will."
In reference to retaining the Heineken Cup and Munster Rugby's pool, Tony added "it will be very difficult and we will look no further than the pool stages, those that do this, do so at their own peril. We can never assume, and have to deal with, and focus on, what is in front of us."
When asked to describe himself, Tony summed himself up in three words, loyal, humble and honest, and in a professional capacity as coach, he regards himself as "professional and highly organised, I like to look at all sides of a situation."
Tony was asked if he had any issues with working out of two centres, in Cork and in Limerick, and would this be something he would like to change. "I believe both centres serve us extremely well and we look at the positives and negatives to any situation, and in this respect we definitely focus on the postives of having two bases to work from. We, the players and management, are comfortable with the set-up and have no plans to change it in the immediate future."
From Defence Coach to Head Coach, McGahan is fully aware of the added pressure and recognises that "it will be a huge step-up, but I know I have plenty of support from the players, coaches and all the stakeholders involved in Munster Rugby, and enough people around to help me keep my eye on the ball, and not spread myself too thinly."