Larkham to commit to Wallabies full-time

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Stephen Larkham will quit his post at the Brumbies after 2017, committing to the Wallabies full-time.

Larkham, 42, has been head coach of the Brumbies since 2014, juggling that with the national attack coaching role since 2015.

After the Wallabies and Brumbies' rollercoaster seasons in 2016, speculation intensified that he would need to make a call between the two roles.

Australia is unusual in not having full-time Wallabies coaches, with Larkham and Nathan Grey (defence coach) both mixing Super Rugby and Wallabies coaching duties.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was also in dual roles during 2015, leading the Waratahs through the Super Rugby year before turning to Australia's World Cup campaign.

Larkham announced he was extending his time at the Brumbies for one more year, speaking at the Brumbies Ball last month, but hadn't made a call beyond that.

The former Wallabies flyhalf and the Brumbies took out team and coach of the year at Thursday night's John Eales Medal.

“I wanted to ensure I was comfortable with the decision and that both my family and the Brumbies had plenty of time to plan for the future beyond 2017,” Larkham said in a statement.

“It will be hard to leave, but it’s the right time and the best decision for myself and my family and will help me achieve the goals I set out when I began coaching.

“Juggling both roles have been difficult. Ultimately, I wanted to be able to focus my energy on one program and connecting with the Wallabies full-time through to the 2019 World Cup and beyond allows me to do that.

“The Brumbies will always be my home and it is going to be extremely hard to say goodbye at the end of the 2017 Super Rugby season, but I think it is the best decision for both the club and myself.

“I’ll be doing everything I can to support the club in its recruitment of a new Head Coach and know the right people will be in place to lead this side in the future.

“I am extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve in my time as a coach with the Brumbies and hope the fans will rally behind the side in 2017 and beyond.

“I want to thank the fans for the support they’ve provided over the years, it has been truly humbling. It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to lead the Brumbies who are such a big part of the Canberra community and will always treasure the opportunities the Brumbies have given me.”

Australia leaves for Europe on Friday, ahead of a five-week Grand Slam Tour attempt.