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ACT Brumbies sign Stephen Larkham as coach for next three years, but lose Laurie Fisher to Gloucester

Stephen Larkham is set to sign an extended three-year deal to take on all responsibilities of leading the Brumbies rugby ...

Stephen Larkham is set to sign an extended three-year deal to take on all responsibilities of leading the Brumbies rugby program. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

The ACT Brumbies will put their faith in Wallabies great Stephen Larkham as the club's coach for the future by upgrading his contract and responsibilities for the next three years.

Larkham is set to sign an extended three-year deal to take on all responsibilities of leading the Brumbies rugby program, offsetting the departure of director of rugby Laurie Fisher.

 It is understood the Brumbies will announce Larkham's new role and contract on Sunday, as well as confirming Fisher's defection to coach Gloucester in the United Kingdom next year.

The Brumbies have set up a committee to search for a replacement for Fisher for next year and beyond, the club deciding how to best support Larkham in his new role.

Larkham and Fisher joined forces as a coaching duo this year, Larkham taking on head coaching duties and control of the backline, while Fisher oversaw the Brumbies program and forwards. Both signed two-year deals, but Fisher will be granted an early release.

Larkham's new role will  make him the sole man in charge for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Super Rugby seasons.

Larkham has led the Brumbies' retention campaign which has  resulted in Matt Toomua, Nic White, Christian Lealiifano, Joseph Tomane, Jesse Mogg, Scott Fardy, Henry Speight, Jarrad Butler and Allan Alaalatoa re-signing.

It's understood Larkham's future was part of player negotiations.  Some players pushed for answers on Larkham's future at the Brumbies before making their own decisions to stay in Canberra.

"There will be more responsibility, it will still be the role in being in charge of the backs and being in charge of the team," Larkham said.

"Maybe I'll have a bit more hand in defence and attack, but it will be fairly similar. We'll also bring someone in to fill the position Laurie had with the team."

Fisher's surprise exit shocked the players on Friday before their crucial game against the NSW Waratahs on Saturday night.

Fisher is a hands-on coach and has previously expressed his desire to return to Europe to coach in the forwards-dominated competition.

Fisher and Larkham's roles were split after the abrupt departure of head coach Jake White last year. The duo, who have previously worked together as player and coach, embraced the collaboration.

 Shocked Brumbies players  were called into a meeting on Friday morning to inform them of Fisher's decision.

"The guys were quite emotional [when Fisher quit], they all gave him 30 seconds of clapping when the team was informed, they gave him a hug and then we got on the bus to Sydney for [the Waratahs game]," Larkham said.

"Moving forward we'll be looking for a coach over the next couple of weeks or months and we'll do it as an organisation."

Fisher backed Larkham to be the Brumbies man in charge next year.

"He's prepared to put in the time, he's made great progress ... the hours and varying hours for a coach are a lot different to that of a player and [Larkham] has adapted really well," Fisher said.

"I think [the club] is in a really good place. The attitude and quality of the players and the program is superb."

Brumbies captain Ben Mowen, who will move to France at the end of the Super Rugby season, said the club was in a good position to move forward.

"It's the same as when we lost Jake, the next guy steps in and I've got no doubt that will be the same next year," Mowen said.

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
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NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
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SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
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AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
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ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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