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Larkham under pressure from Wallabies


Reports: Stephen Larkham on the outer with Wallabies as 'eye-catching' changes loom

Wallabies assistant coach Stephen Larkham appears to be on the outer as Rugby Australia consider changes to the national coaching setup.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Larkham was mentioned as a potential change Cheika was willing to make when he faced the board on Monday.

While it isn’t known whether the RA board accepted Cheika’s proposal, a source told the Sydney Morning Herald there would be “significant, eye-catching changes” made to the assistant coaching setup.

The Wallabies’ try-scoring output almost halved from 4.21 per game in 2017 to 2.31 during their four-win 2018 campaign. Their points per game also saw a significant drop from over 31 last year to just 19.15 in 2018.

Forwards coach Simon Raiwalui is under contract until the end of 2019 and is thought to be under pressure alongside Larkham. Since joining the Wallabies in March he has failed to improve their set-piece performance.

Earlier in the year Cheika dismissed the notion that the assistant coaches needed changing, and even praised Larkham as a future Wallabies head coach.

“It is obviously not my decision … but that’s what I like, I like the idea of having that type of succession,” Cheika told NewsCorp.

“As long as we are doing a good job, as a group.

“Stephen has come on in leaps and bounds, even just in the time he’s only been in this role [full time] and understanding how to integrate and effect and understand, and listen.

“He still has a way to go, and he knows that. One great thing with him is he is really self-aware, he knows what he needs to do to become better and take the team forward.”

After Australia’s 37-18 defeat to England in November, Cheika said “sometimes you’ve got to review, you’ve got to look back and you’ve got to see what is working, what is not working and what can I do differently. My goal is to make sure that we are producing the best quality rugby we can on a consistent basis.”

Cheika has been in charge of the Wallabies since 2014, taking over from Ewen McKenzie one year out from the 2015 Rugby World Cup,  where he eventually lead the side to the final.

Former Wallaby Larkham has been the Wallabies’ attack coach since 2015 after working with the Brumbies since 2011.

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Reports: Stephen Larkham on the outer with Wallabies as 'eye-catching' changes loom
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