Rugby Union

Stephen Larkham to stay with Brumbies despite being linked to Wallabies job

The ACT Brumbies claim Stephen Larkham is adamant he will coach the Super Rugby team next season, even if he gives Australian rugby "a hand" as part of Michael Cheika's coaching staff at the Wallabies.

NSW Waratahs championship-winning coach Cheika confirmed on Monday he had been offered the Wallabies' coaching job after Ewen McKenzie's shock resignation on Saturday night, but "there are a few things to be ironed out, obviously the logistics etcetera ... everything is so close".

Larkham had a series of meetings in Canberra on Monday, telling Brumbies chief executive Doug Edwards he was committed to the club.

"From the conversation I had with [Larkham] this morning, he's adamant he is coaching the Brumbies next year," Edwards said.

"He's very in sync with Australian rugby and, if they need him to give them a hand, I'm sure he would give that some consideration, I'm sure.

"They've got to finalise their head coach before all that falls into place."

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Edwards said he had not been contacted by the ARU.

The Brumbies are eager to keep Larkham on board for the final two years of his contract, given the high regard he is held in as a coach.

Renowned as one of the greatest fly-halves of the modern era, Larkham spent three seasons as an attack coach at the Brumbies before stepping up to the top job this year.

The Brumbies qualified for the finals for the second straight season after a nine-year absence.

Larkham is set to fly to Japan next week for a 10-day stint in a consultancy coaching role with his former club Ricoh Black Rams.

He recently returned from the US as part of the Brumbies' plans to set up an academy system at Arizona State University, where potential Super Rugby recruits will train before possibly trying out in Australia.

The Brumbies start pre-season training on November 23, which clashes with the end of the Wallabies' spring tour.

"It's not just fitness testing, there's heaps of stuff we need to work through for next season," Edwards said.

"If he was to be involved with the Wallabies, we would have to sort out that stuff before we go down that track."

Along with Larkham, Western Force coach Michael Foley and Tony McGahan from the Melbourne Rebels have been raised as possible candidates as assistant coaches to Cheika.

The Brumbies are eager to keep their coaching structure intact having had Laurie Fisher, this year's director of rugby, join Gloucester.

Canberra Vikings coach Dan McKellar remains as an assistant coach while Peter Ryan will join the Brumbies as the attack coach.

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