Rugby: Former Counties Manukau, Blues coach Mac McCallion passes away


Warrick (Mac) McCallion, a former rugby coach of Counties Manukau, the Blues and Fiji has passed away after a battle with cancer.

A Vietnam War veteran, McCallion was named New Zealand coach of the year in 1996 and 1997. He was 67.

McCallion was an assistant coach at the Blues under Graham Henry for the first four years of Super Rugby and coached Fiji in 2002 and 2003.

Counties Manukau CEO Bart Hoggard said it’s a very sad day for the Union.

Hoggard said McCallion was at the helm when Joeli Vidiri and Jonah Lomu burst onto the scene and had a very successful time coaching Counties.

Henry said he was a very good forwards coach who had the respect of the players.

“Very straight-forward, black and white guy who had high standards of commitment by the troops both in the army I imagine and on the rugby field,” Sir Graham Henry said.

“Very uncompromising and very clear on what he expected. The guys respected him and enjoyed playing for him.”

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