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Stephen Larkham has handed in his notice and will quit Munster

By Liam Heagney

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Stephen Larkham will quit Munster at the end of the current season to take up a job opportunity closer to home in Australia. The 47-year-old former Wallabies out-half joined Munster in 2019 after Felix Jones, the current Springboks assistant, opted not to extend his deal with the Irish province.

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Larkham was at a loose end when he decided to come to Ireland having been controversially sacked as the Wallabies attack coach by Michael Cheika, who himself lost his job with Australia following their quarter-final elimination at the 2019 World Cup in Japan. 

Munster were satisfied with the improvements Larkham has made with their attack since his arrival in Limerick, but he has now turned down a contract extension offer to stay on with the team run by head coach Johann van Graan.   

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A statement from the Irish club read: “Stephen Larkham will depart Munster at the end of the 2021/22 season. Larkham, who joined Munster as senior coach two years ago, is contracted to the province until the end of the season and was offered the opportunity to extend his time in Limerick.

“After careful consideration, Larkham eventually declined the extended contract offer citing personal reasons in seeking a return to Australia with his family and the added incentive of a coaching opportunity closer to home.”

Larkham added: “I only recently spoke about my desire to remain with Munster and continue working with my fellow coaches and playing group. That hopefully gives some indication as to how difficult a decision this has been for me. The staff, players, fans, and facilities are world-class here and I am grateful to have had this opportunity. My family made a number of sacrifices in joining me on this move to Ireland and my girls’ adjustment over here, particularly with Covid, has been difficult.

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“I have to put them first now, and with a coaching opportunity closer to home this is the right thing for my family at this time. For now, my focus is very much with Munster and with a long season ahead I will savour every moment of working within this great environment as we continue to build in the right direction.”

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Stephen Larkham has handed in his notice and will quit Munster

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