Stephen Larkham is set to be named as Munster backs and attack coach.
The former Australia World Cup winning fly-half has reportedly been in Limerick this week to finalise the deal. An announcement is expected imminently.
It’s been a good week for Munster on the recruitment front with Graham Rowntree confirmed as forwards coach. Larkham and Rowntree will fill the roles left vacant after Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones didn’t take up new contract offers in the spring.
Munster fans will be hoping Larkham has the impact he did in previous roles. At the Brumbies when he took over as attack coach with Jake White. Under their guidance, the Brisbane side went from fourth to second-ranked Australia side in Super Rugby. Finishing second only to the Reds who were rampant at the time led by half-back pairing Quade Cooper and Will Genia.
Larkham joined Michael Cheika’s coaching team as an attack coach in 2015. Again the new Munster recruit had an immediate impact as Australia won their first Rugby Championship since 2011. Australia also beat New Zealand that year for the first time since 2011.
Larkham’s time as part of Michael Cheika’s backroom team came to an abrupt end earlier this year. He was controversially sacked by Cheika following a couple of years of underperformance by the Australia national side.
As a player, Larkham amassed over 100 caps for Australia starting his international career as a full-back but won the vast majority of his caps in the number 10 shirt. Rod McQueen moved Larkham into the pivot role and the most famous reward it reaped was the 1999 World Cup. Larkham scored 48-metre drop goal in injury time to get to the final before they got past France in the decider.
McQueen oversaw the development of Larkham as a fly-half and hall of fame player has returned the favour in the development of players such as Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano into to pivot role. Munster fans will hope he can get the best out of the plentiful attacking talent in their ranks.