Mac McCallion

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Mac McCallion
Full name Warrick Lee McCallion[notes 1]
Date of birth (1950-07-26)26 July 1950
Date of death 14 March 2018(2018-03-14) (aged 67)
Place of death Manurewa, New Zealand
Rugby union career
Position(s) Loose forward
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1976–80 Counties 23 (28)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1978–79 New Zealand Māori 8 (4)
Teams coached
Years Team
Counties Manukau
Blues (assistant)

Warrick Lee "Mac" McCallion[notes 1] (26 July 1950 – 14 March 2018) was a New Zealand rugby union player and coach.[1]

McCallion served in the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment of the New Zealand Army during the Vietnam War.[2] Aged 17, and having lied about his age to enlist, he was a member of the secret Faceless 26 Ghost Unit of the New Zealand Special Air Service.[3]

After the war, he played for Counties from 1976 to 1980, and made eight appearances for New Zealand Māori in the late 1970s.[4]

McCallion was named New Zealand coach of the year for his work with the NPC Division One team Counties in both 1996 and 1997. He enhanced his reputation further as Graham Henry's assistant at the Auckland Blues during a four-year spell that saw them reach three consecutive Super 12 finals, lifting the trophy on two occasions in 1997 and 1998.

McCallion was appointed Fiji's national coaching director in March 2002. He took the Fiji national team to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, but quit later that year, citing frustration at Fiji being overlooked for tournaments by the stronger rugby nations.[5]

McCallion died in Manurewa on 14 March 2018 after a battle with cancer.[6] He was survived by his wife Suzie, two children and one step-child.[7]


  1. ^ a b Different sources give different versions of his first names as Warrick Lee, Warwick Lee, or Leigh Warwick.


  1. ^ McCallion rues Scotland defeat 1 November 2003
  2. ^ "Tpr Warwick Lee McCallion". Memories of New Zealand and the Vietnam War. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  3. ^ Shand, Matt (3 December 2017). "Forgotten SAS Vietnam War hero denied medal". Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  4. ^ "Leigh Warwick McCallion". New Zealand Rugby History. Retrieved 15 March 2018. 
  5. ^ McCallion quits Fiji in disgust, 2 December 2003
  6. ^ "Rugby: former Counties Manukau, Blues coach Mac McCallion passes away". New Zealand Herald. 14 March 2018. Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  7. ^ "Warrick Lee McCallion death notice". New Zealand Herald. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018. 
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Fiji Ifereimi Tawake
Fiji National Rugby Union Coach
Succeeded by
New Zealand Wayne Pivac