There is a lure for any young coach to be the master puppeteer.
To be the set designer, the lighting coordinator, the choreographer and the director all rolled into one.
Stephen Larkham was there once. A young head coach who perhaps tried to do too much himself. Four Super Rugby finals appearances in four years suggests it worked to a degree.
But now he is poised to return to ACT Brumbies headquarters with a vision club bosses hope can unlock the potential of both their playing roster and Larkham's coaching ability.
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The mercurial playmaker turned mentor was identified as the club's preferred candidate, with Wednesday night's board meeting likely to see him ratified as the man to replace Dan McKellar following the 2022 campaign.
There is a sense McKellar is a Wallabies head coach-in-waiting as he completes his time in quarantine following an early release from the Spring Tour.
"I'm really pleased that I've got the experience of coaching at international level. Like always, you always learn plenty. The standards are better for it," McKellar said.
Now he is preparing for his last stand at the helm of the Brumbies before he links up with the Australian side in a full-time capacity as forwards coach.
Calling on Larkham to fill the void means the Brumbies will wind back the clock.
He served as the Brumbies' head coach from 2014-17 before leaving to join the Wallabies as attack coach, where he wound up as collateral damage during Michael Cheika's reign. An argument could be made to suggest he left to chase that dream somewhat prematurely.
But Larkham's eye-opening two-year stint at Irish province Munster has convinced Brumbies insiders he returns as a more well-rounded mentor both on and off the field.
Brumbies chiefs interviewed four candidates for the head coaching role - Simon Cron, Peter Hewat and Rod Seib said to be among them - but Larkham was a standout candidate.
The city's favourite son, Larkham made 127 appearances for the Brumbies during the club's golden era and earned 102 Wallabies caps. His name is emblazoned upon a Canberra Stadium grandstand.
But his sparkling footwork and place as a lynchpin in star-studded backlines were far from the agenda as Brumbies bosses whittled down a list of coaching applicants from across Australia and abroad.
Instead they were sold on Larkham's holistic approach.
They saw a mentor who now knows he doesn't need to shoulder every burden, one who has faith in the team around him to deliver on key benchmarks.
They saw a coach with a genuine plan to evolve their game and work with the leaders of the group - some of whom he has already established relationships - to take the team to the next level.
Larkham has already indicated a desire to retain a stable coaching staff. Forwards coach Laurie Fisher, who has already worked with the former Brumbies boy wonder, is contracted until the end of the 2023 season.
Attack coach Seib is on the books until the end of the 2022 season. While there is a desire within Brumbies headquarters for him to stay, Seib's family remains in Queensland.
Larkham's is a vision built on platform laid by stints with Australia's senior men's, women's and under 20s programs, and an elite club program in Munster.
There is a sense of belief leaving the Brumbies was what Larkham needed. Something to take him out of his comfort zone. A chance to step inside other organisations and see what made them tick. Now it's time to come back.
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