Brumbies turn to Larkham
July 21, 2010
Stephen Larkham will take over as Brumbies attack coach © Getty Images
Legendary Australia fly-half Stephen Larkham will draw a line under his playing career at the end of the season to take up a coaching role with the Brumbies.
The 102-cap Wallaby, 36, will return to Australia after three seasons playing in Japan with the Ricoh Black Rams to become the franchise's attack coach for the inaugural Super 15 season. Larkham has reportedly secured an early release from his contract with the Rams that will see him return to Canberra in November.
During his Test career Larkham helped Australia to the Rugby World Cup in 1999 as well as Tri-Nations titles in 2000 and 2001, in tandem with scrum-half partner George Gregan. He played 116 games for the Brumbies, winning Super 12 titles in 2001 and 2004, and, along with Gregan, his name adorns a stands at Canberra Stadium.
"Steve's credentials as a player are second to none and he is renowned as being one of the playing masterminds of the modern game," Brumbies head coach Andy Friend said. "He's always had an attacking mentality as a player and it will excite a large majority of the Brumbies faithful to see him returning to the club for 2011."
Joining Larkham in the backroom staff are Justin Harrison and Marco Caputo, who will serve as forwards and scrum coach respectively. Former Wallabies lock Harrison re-joined the Brumbies in 2010 to end his playing career, having left Bath under a cloud with a lengthy ban for taking cocaine. Caputo, meanwhile, succeeds Bill Young and will marshal a promising set-piece.
"Justin has always been a leader within the sides he's played for," Friend said, "He brings with him an incredible amount of intellectual property and a tremendous enthusiasm, and I've got no doubt he'll make a seamless transition into the world of coaching.
"Marco has already had an involvement with the side this season as our assistant scrum coach. He's very passionate about his rugby and he's done a fantastic job, not only with the academy and assisting with our scrums this season, but he's also reinstated Gungahlin as one of the teams to beat in the Canberra competition."