Reports have emerged on Tuesday that Munster head coach Tony McGahan is set to leave the province at the end of the season to take up a new post as Australia defence coach.

The news will come as a major blow to the province’s plans, with Munster having finished as top seed in this season’s Heineken Cup pool stage.

Queensland man McGahan, who took over as head coach of the province in 2008, has yet to officially confirm his departure, but he is believed to have already informed the first team squad of his plans to leave this summer.

The Australian has been involved with Munster since 2005, working as a defence coach and backs coach prior to securing the major coaching position at the province following Declan Kidney’s departure from Munster in order to take up the role of Ireland head coach.