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Leinster legend backs Munster's latest coaching staff recruit

By Josh Raisey
Forced out of his Wallaby assistant's job by Michael Cheika, Stephen Larkham's arrival is now awaited at Munster (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

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Leinster legend Jamie Heaslip has given his opinion on Twitter after Munster announced that former Australia fly-half Stephen Larkham has joined as senior coach ahead of next season. 

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Heaslip, who spent his entire career and played over 200 games for Munster’s great rivals, called this a “great grab” for “one of the biggest clubs in Europe”. 

With 102 caps for the Wallabies and four years working under Michael Cheika for his country, Larkham has a lot of experience and Heaslip is interested to see what will happen during his time with the two-time European champions. 

This is Larkham’s first job since being sacked by Australia in February after a run of bad form. The former fly-half was the attack coach for the Wallabies and was seen by some as a scapegoat for their poor record. 

Nonetheless, he would have amassed a lot of experience during that time, as well as during his spell as head coach of the Brumbies. 

After backs coach Felix Jones and forwards coach Jerry Flannery left Johann van Graan’s coaching team at Thomond Park recently, the search has been on to find improvements. 

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With two-time British and Irish Lions forwards coach Graham Rowntree incoming alongside Larkham, this could well be seen as an upgrade to the former coaching team. 

This improvement will be needed, as Munster will desperately want to close the gap on their rivals Leinster, who have pushed away in recent years.

Despite making both the Champions Cup and PRO14 semi-finals this year, Munster fell short on both occasions, losing to Saracens and Leinster. 

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The fact that they were comfortably beaten in both games is an indication of how far behind they are to Europe’s elite.

While the forwards have always remained competitive in red, it is the backs that have probably fell behind in recent years, and it is Larkham’s job to ignite a revival. 

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