McKellar named Brumbies coach

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips

The Brumbies have named assistant coach Dan McKellar as the man to replace Stephen Larkham for the 2018 season and beyond.

McKellar joined the club as defence coach in 2013 and has been the UC Vikings coach since the inception of NRC.

He will have big shoes to fill when Larkham joins Michael Cheika on the Wallabies coaching staff on a permanent basis, as Larkham has quickly become one of Australian rugby's most respected minds.

"I feel honoured and privileged to be taking over as head coach of this fantastic club,” McKellar said.

"It’s a wonderful club to be part of and I am looking forward to helping shape the future of the Brumbies, on and off the field.Stephen Larkham will join the Wallabies full time next year. Photo: Walmsley“Having worked with Stephen for several years, and been part of the Brumbies set-up since 2013, I am confident that we have some exciting times ahead of us.

"We have lots of young talent at the club and are in the process of looking to consolidate our playing resources for next season.

“Working with CEO Michael Thomson, and GM Professional Rugby & Pathways, Damien Hill, we are already preparing for the 2018 season in terms of new acquisitions that will help keep the Brumbies at the forefront of Australian Rugby.”

McKellar started coaching as a player-coach in his mid 20s at a small rugby club outside Dublin - Wicklow - from 2002 to 2005.

So to see him handed a head coach job at just 40 is no major surprise.

He got his start as a coach in Australian rugby at the club he played more than 150 Premier Grade games for - Souths Magpies in Brisbane.McKellar has been in charge of the Brumbies' defence for four years. Photo: WalmsleyAfter leading the Magpies from 2008 to 2010, Canberra came calling.

He took over the rugby operations and coaching reigns at Tuggeranong Vikings in 2011 before heading for Japan to coach the forwards of Top League team NTT Docomo.

That job led him back to the Brumbies, where he has run the team's defence since 2014.

To now be named as the top dog in Canberra is a natural progression.

"The appointment of Dan as new h coach of the Brumbies is part of a long-term strategic approach,” CEO Michael Thomson said.

"By promoting from within, we are ensuring continuity amongst our coaching staff and in Dan we have appointed a coach who is well versed in the traditions and heritage of Brumbies Rugby.

"We had an excellent list of candidates that applied for the role but Dan’s application stood out and we are delighted he has accepted the offer."