Sacked Wallabies coach set to join Irish giants
NEWS: Only days after securing the services of Graham Rowntree, Munster are on the verge of confirming the recruitment of another high-profile coach to their set-up.
Stephen Larkham is set to join the province as their new attack coach, replacing the departed Felix Jones, according to multiple news outlets in Ireland.
Jones and Jerry Flannery made the shock decision not to renew their contracts with Munster and the IRFU, which ran out in June, forcing Johann van Graan into re-shaping his coaching team for next season.
Rowntree, who has coached England and the British and Irish Lions and is currently with the Georgian national team, will join up with Munster following the Rugby World Cup.
Larkham on the other hand is available immediately after being sacked from his job as Australia’s attack coach earlier this year, just eight months before the start of the Rugby World Cup.
He was the most high-profile fall guy of Rugby Australia’s review of the Wallabies’ worst season in 60 years, in 2018, when they won just four of 13 Tests.
Larkham moved to a new role as national high performance coach advisor and speaking at the time of his sacking he said: “Ultimately Michael [Cheika] is responsible for the performance of the team. We have differences in attacking strategy and overall game philosophy. We couldn’t agree on these key points and it is in the best interest of the team that they receive clear and consistent messages from their coaches.
“I am obviously disappointed with this outcome as I had chosen to pursue the experience of taking the Wallabies through to the World Cup, however I am pleased to be able to continue coaching and contributing to Australian rugby in this new role.”
Munster lost out in the semifinals of the Pro14 and Champions Cup this season. Their defence was feted as a strength this season, conceding the fewest tries (9) during the pool stage of the Champions Cup. However they found try scoring a problem getting over 14 times during pool stage, in comparison with rivals Leinster who scored almost double that (27).
Back in March centre Chris Farrell highlighted their blunt attack as an area for concern. “It’s the last aspect of our game that really needs to kick on and really needs a little bit of work, because everything else is so good.”
Larkham was part of the coaching staff which helped Australia to the final of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and was the Wallabies flyhalf when they won the World Cup in 1999.