Stephen Larkham has been removed from his position of Wallabies attack coach and will now take up a new job as a national high-performance coach advisor.
According to reports, tensions have been simmering between head coach Michael Cheika and Larkham with the latter understood not to have been able to implement his strategies on the team as the Wallabies averaged just 19.5 points per game.
Larkham has revealed that he and Cheika could not agree on some big issues throughout their time coaching together.
“Ultimately Michael is responsible for the performance of the team. We have differences in attacking strategy and overall game philosophy,” Larkham told The Canberra Times.
“We couldn’t agree on these key points and it is in the best interest of the team that they receive clear and consistent messages from their coaches.
“I am obviously disappointed with this outcome as I had chosen to pursue the experience of taking the Wallabies through to the World Cup, however, I am pleased to be able to continue coaching and contributing to Australian rugby in this new role.”
Larkham will now work with the Australian Sevens program, junior Wallabies, state under-20s academies and the Wallaroos in a coaching and skills development capacity.
Chief executive of Rugby Australia, Raelene Castle, admits that in an ideal situation, Cheika and Larkham would have been able to work things out.
“It’s not where we all wanted to be,” Castle said.
“When you’ve got two coaches with great experience and really good depth of knowledge, whether it be attack or defence, you want to try to work those things out.
“You also don’t want everyone to agree all the time, you need challenge and differences of opinions to make sure that with the final outcome you’re growing and developing it.
“But ultimately they didn’t think the core elements of attack were aligned and they believed, or Michael believed, it was the right thing to do to move on.”