Stephen Larkham: Munster recruit ex-Australia fly-half as new senior coach

Stephen Larkham was appointed to Michael Cheika's coaching staff in 2015
Larkham spent four years as part of the Australia coaching staff

Australian World Cup-winner Stephen Larkham has agreed to join Munster as their new senior coach until 2022.

The 45-year-old is the latest high-profile addition to Johann van Graan's backroom team following the appointment of ex-England coach Graham Rowntree.

The ex-Australia attack coach succeeds former Ireland full-back Felix Jones.

Munster are rebuilding their backroom team after Jones and forwards coach Jerry Flannery both declined offers to extend their contracts last season.

Larkham, who won 102 caps for Australia, has signed a three-year contract and will join the province in August, subject to gaining a work permit, where he will work alongside Van Graan, Rowntree and defence coach JP Ferreira.

"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," said Larkham, who won the 1999 World Cup with the Wallabies.

"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."

Acting Munster Rugby chief executive Philip Quinn added: "Stephen is a very successful coach who had offers from other clubs so we are delighted that he has decided to join Munster.

"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."

Larkham's coaching career began at the Brumbies in 2011.

The former Australia fly-half became head coach at the Super Rugby side after three years before departing in 2017 to work full-time for governing body Rugby Australia.

He was sacked as Australia attack coach in February, saying at the time that he and head coach Michael Cheika fundamentally disagreed on the "overall game philosophy".

He remained with Rugby Australia, focusing on coach mentoring, coaching and skills development across the Australian sevens program, Junior Wallabies, State Under-20s academies and the Australian women's team the Wallaroos.