Rugby Australia has announced that Qantas Wallabies Assistant Coach, Stephen Larkham will transition to a new role as National High Performance Coach Advisor in 2019.
The World Cup-winning former Wallabies flyhalf and World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee has served as Attack Coach for the Wallabies since his appointment in early 2015, helping steer the team to a Rugby World Cup Final later that year.
Larkham will move into the new role with immediate effect after a decision was made by Head Coach Michael Cheika that Larkham should no longer continue in the role of Assistant Coach of the Wallabies.
Under a revitalised Rugby Australia High Performance structure, Larkham’s new position will focus on coach mentoring, coaching and skills development across the Qantas Australian Sevens program, Junior Wallabies, State U20s Academies, and Buildcorp Wallaroos.
Stephen Larkham said: “Ultimately Michael is responsible for the performance of the team. We have differences in attacking strategy and overall game philosophy. We couldn’t agree on these key points and it is in the best interest of the team that they receive clear and consistent messages from their coaches.
“I am obviously disappointed with this outcome as I had chosen to pursue the experience of taking the Wallabies through to the World Cup, however I am pleased to be able to continue coaching and contributing to Australian Rugby in this new role," said Larkham.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “We are very pleased that Stephen has agreed to take on this role. He was one of our greatest ever Wallabies and has developed a strong depth of experience during his coaching roles with the Brumbies and Qantas Wallabies.
“It was very important from Rugby Australia’s perspective to retain Stephen’s services and to ensure his experience is used to grow and develop coaches and players in our next generation. “We will also look to support Stephen in his transition into another Head Coach role,” said Castle.
Rugby Australia also confirmed today the departure of Qantas Wallabies Head of Athletic Preparation, Haydn Masters.
Masters resigned from his post after four seasons with the Wallabies, having previously worked under Michael Cheika in the victorious 2014 NSW Waratahs Super Rugby campaign.