Stephen Larkham is the current National High-Performance Coach Advisor for the Australian Rugby Union and a former professional player who played at a National level from 1990 to 2010.
Stephen is best known for his career with the Brumbies in Super Rugby, for whom he played from the inception of the professional Super 12 in 1996 through 2007, and his long tenure with the Wallabies at the international level he played 102 times. At his peak, Larkham was one of the best fly-halves in world rugby, with a reputation as a game-breaker, an elusive runner and the lynchpin of a potent backline.
Stephen Larkham is currently the National High-Performance Coach Advisor for the Australian Rugby Union. In this role, Stephen will work across the following programs: the Junior Wallabies U20s, the Sevens and the national skills curriculum.
Playing Career: Having started his career as a fullback, Larkham developed into one of the greatest fly-halves in the history of Australian rugby, being named in 2005 at the position in Australia's team of the decade.
Larkham's career took off in 1995 when he was selected from reserve grade club rugby to represent ACT. Steve took his opportunity as a utility back in the ACT's 1996 squad, playing a number of eye-catching Super 12 games before attracting the national selectors' attention.
Larkham made his Test debut against Wales in Sydney in 1996 and then joined the Wallabies on their undefeated tour of Europe.
In 1997, Larkham proved more than a capable replacement at fullback for Matt Burke, who was injured at the time, with a two-try effort in the Wallabies final Test against Scotland.
Steve's conversion from fullback to fly-half put the Wallabies back on track for the 1999 Rugby World Cup.
Larkham's famous 48m-drop goal to seal victory over South Africa in extra time of the 1999 Rugby World Cup Semi-Final has gone down in rugby folklore as the defining moment Wallabies' victorious Rugby World Cup campaign.
Over the last few seasons, including the 2003 Rugby World Cup, Larkham was consistently the Wallabies best player and, in 2005, he was named in the "Wallaby Team of the Decade" at No.10.
Over the course of his playing career, Stephen Larkham accomplished more than most players would ever dream of playing in two Rugby World Cup Finals (1999 Champions), Won two Super 14 titles with the ACT Brumbies, a Lions Series Victory, a Tri-Nations Victory & numerous Bledisloe Cups.
Transition to Coaching: In 2008 Larkham's playing career took him overseas to the Tokyo's based Japanese club Ricoh Black Rams. There Larkham was apart of the coaching setup whilst still contributing as a player on the field. The Black Rams, relegated to 2nd division in 2007, regained their position in Top League on the back of an unbeaten season in 2008 where Larkham was both player and backs coach. Larkham finished his professional playing career with the Black Rams in 2011, taking up Backs and Attack Coach at the Brumbies for the 2011 Super Rugby season.
Coaching Career: In 2010, Larkham returned to the Brumbies ahead of the 2011 Super Rugby season to take up the role of attack coach. He worked under the Head Coach of Tony Rea who left the franchise at the end of that season.
Larkham and newly appointed head coach Jake White made a formidable duo. During the 2012 Super Rugby season, the Brumbies went from being the fourth-best Australian franchise to the second-best behind the Queensland Reds. Larkham's attacking influence saw the Brumbies pick up 5 bonus points wins and an overall better difference point.
He guided Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano to world-class fly-half options, which helped the Brumbies secure the top Australian conference position during the 2013 Super Rugby season, finishing second overall losing in the final to the Chiefs 27-22.
In 2014, Jake White resigned as head coach, with Larkham and Laurie Fisher being appointed joint coaches. They finished second in the Australian conference and fourth in the standings after the regular season.
In 2015, Fisher left his role to join Gloucester, with Stephen being appointed Head Coach.
In Larkhams's debut season as Head Coach, he led the Brumbies to the Semi-Final of the 2015 Super Rugby season, finishing sixth in the overall standings at the end of the regular season.
In February 2015, newly appointed Wallabies coach Michael Cheika appointed Larkham as Assistant Coach for the Wallabies in the role of Backs and Attack Coach for the national side for the 2015 Rugby World Cup Wallabies made the finals.
From 2012 - 2017, during Larkham's tenure as the Brumbies Coach, the side didn't miss the playoffs once. From 2015 - 2017, Larkham was simultaneously fulfilling his Head Coaching role for the Brumbies as well as Assistant Coaching for the Wallabies for three seasons.