Brumbies confirm Larkham-Fisher alliance
November 1, 2013
Stephen Larkham will wear a different hat from 2014 © Getty Images
Stephen Larkham and Laurie Fisher will share Brumbies coaching duties for the next two Super Rugby seasons. Larkham will be the club's head coach, with Fisher appointed director of rugby.
Larkham, as head coach, will have greater input and involvement with the overall organisation of the team, and will play a bigger part in recruitment and weekly selections, while Fisher will control day-to-day rugby operations such as staffing, elite and academy program development, talent pathways and training structures. Fisher will also continue to focus on the forwards, the breakdown and the tackle contest.
Larkham is confident that he and Fisher can maintain the momentum forged under Jake White before the Rugby World Cup-winning coach resigned in September little more than one month after taking the side to the Super Rugby final.
"Nothing is going to change in terms of how we run the team," Larkham said. "Off the field, it's going to be the same. Laurie spoke to the forwards, I spoke to the backs, and Jake oversaw that process."
Larkham, Australia's greatest modern-day five-eighth, will also have greater authority over the team's overall attacking philosophies. But he indicated there would be plenty of room for Fisher's input across the park.
"There's robust discussions, and you put in your arguments to one another," Larkham said. "It's whoever argues the best point really, comes away with it at the end. "We're fairly logical sort of men, so we come down and understand where the other person is coming from."
Fisher, who was Brumbies head coach from 2005 to 2008, said communication would be key to making the partnership work. "Whether it's a marriage, or whether it's a rugby program, if you're not talking about it, you're going to struggle," he said. "It's like any system. No one person in any environment determines exactly how it's done."
Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan said that he would appoint an assistant coach to "help the program as required" but with "primary responsibilities" for defence.