Rugby

Stephen Larkham's First Words As New Munster Senior Coach

Stephen Larkham's First Words As New Munster Senior Coach

Munster confirmed the worst kept secret in rugby on Friday as they announced Stephen Larkham will join Johann van Graan's background team ahead of next season as a senior coach.

The Australian legend served as the Wallabies' attack coach for four years, helping to lead Australia to the final of the 2015 Rugby World Cup but was dismissed last February after a difficult 2018 saw them pick up just three wins from ten games.

Larkham now heads to Munster for his first coaching job in Europe and will hope to bring some of the attacking flair he showed during his playing career.

The World Cup winner has signed a three-year deal which will keep him at Thomond Park until June 2022.

In a statement announcing his arrival at the southern province, Larkham said:

"I am very excited and honoured to be joining Munster Rugby.

"A big part of my decision lies in the values of the club and the importance they place on community. I have come from a very similar environment and know how effective and enjoyable that can be.

"I have had a number of conversations with Johann and I'm very excited to be working with him, as our views on rugby are very similar.

"I'm also looking forward to meeting and working with not only the other coaches in Graham and JP but also the very talented group of players that Munster have."

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Stephen Larkham is the second big-name addition to the coaching team at Munster this summer after it was confirmed that Graham Rowntree will take up the role of forwards coach once his duties with Georgia come to an end following this year's Rugby World Cup.

The pair will take over from departing forwards coach Jerry Flannery and backs coach Felix Jones after they rejected new deals to stay in Limerick.

Acting CEO of Munster Rugby Philip Quinn hailed the move and revealed that the province intend to add one more coach to assist Van Graan before next season, saying:

"We are very pleased to add Stephen to our coaching team and look forward to welcoming him to the province in August.

"Stephen's values are very closely aligned with those of Munster and huge credit must go to the Professional Game Board and Johann for their work in bringing him to the province.

"Stephen is a very successful coach who had offers from other clubs so we are delighted that he has decided to join Munster.

"We now have a four-man coaching team with head coach Johann van Graan supported by senior coach Stephen, forwards coach Graham Rowntree and defence coach JP Ferreira.

"It has been our intention to recruit one more member for our coaching ticket and we will evaluate our needs prior to progressing with that process."

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Kevin Beirne

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