Larkham to leave Munster after declining contract extension offer

The senior coach will return home to Australia with his family.

Munster senior coach Stephen Larkham.
Munster senior coach Stephen Larkham.
Image: Elena Barbini/INPHO

MUNSTER HAVE CONFIRMED that senior coach Stephen Larkham will leave the province at the end of the current season after declining a contract extension offer.

The former Wallabies out-half joined Munster in 2019, taking over as their attack specialist under head coach Johann van Graan but is set to return home next year.

Munster confirmed that they offered Larkham a contract extension beyond next summer but he declined that offer, “citing personal reasons in seeking a return to Australia with his family and the additional incentive of a coaching opportunity closer to home.”

The 47-year-old has been recently linked with a return to the Brumbies, where he was head coach from 2014 until 2017 before he joined the Wallabies coaching staff as Michael Cheika’s attack coach.

Larkham’s departure leaves Munster looking for a new attack specialist.

The42 understands that former Ireland U20s coach Noel McNamara – who only joined the Sharks in South Africa at the start of this season – is among those under consideration for the role.

However, Larkham still has another seven months in his position and will hope to conclude his two-year stint at Munster with a trophy success.

“I only recently spoke about my desire to remain with Munster and continue working with my fellow coaches and playing group,” said Larkham.

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“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. 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 Rugby 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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Murray Kinsella

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