Stephen Larkham to be confirmed as Munster's backs and attack coach
Stephen Larkham is set to become Munster’s new backs and attack coach.
The Irish Independent understands that the former Australia out-half was in Limerick yesterday to finalise a deal that, barring any last-minute complications, will see Larkham join Johann van Graan’s back-room staff as Felix Jones’s replacement.
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As was reported by the Irish Independent on May 16, Larkham held initial talks with Munster last month.
The 45-year-old has a young family and was keen to visit their potential new home city before signing a contract. Should the deal go through, as is now expected, it will represent another major coup for Munster after they hired Graham Rowntree as their forwards coach earlier this week.
That would mean that the club have appointed both of their primary targets in their respective areas, which in turn could see Munster ease their search for a third new coach.
Van Graan had said that he would look to bring in three new faces to his coaching team, but such is the experience that Rowntree and Larkham would add to the set-up, Munster would not need to rush into hiring another.
Larkham, who won 102 caps for his country, is believed to be bringing an end to his time in Australia, where since being let go from Michael Cheika's senior coaching staff earlier this year, has taken on the role as national high performance coach advisor.
The Wallabies legend has previously worked with the IRFU’s performance director David Nucifora during the pair's time with the Brumbies and their relationship is likely to have helped push the deal through.
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Larkham is also close to Connacht head coach Andy Friend, whom he also knows from the Brumbies, where Larkham both played and coached for the majority of his illustrious career.
He comes highly-rated and does have other attractive offers on the table, which reiterates how big of a boost this would be to Munster, particularly if they can get their business done early in the summer.
As soon as they complete the deal, Munster will hope to have Larkham in situ ahead of pre-season, depending on his contractual situation with the Australian Rugby Union.