Sydney – ACT Brumbies coach Jake White is reportedly trying to lure former Australia flyhalf Stephen Larkham out of retirement to cover for the injury-ravaged Super 15 squad.
White told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper that 102-test veteran Larkham was a “real option” to fill the gap created when Christian Lealiifano broke his ankle last weekend, compounding the club's problems at No. 10 after Matt Toomua was earlier sidelined following a knee reconstruction.
Larkham, a backline coach at the Brumbies, has not played at any level since early last year and will turn 38 this month.
“He runs all of our plays, he knows our plays – we would be crazy not to ask him, and it is a real option I could have Stephen Larkham running around for three games,” White was quoted as saying. “I would never force him to play, but when two flyhalves go down you have to think outside the box.
“If we think he can add value to us then we will pursue it ... If he says to me he would play, then of course we will go with that.”
Larkham had a distinguished test career for Australia after starting as a fullback and moving to flyhalf. He helped Australia win the 1999 World Cup and was involved in the run to the final in 2003. He quit international rugby after Australia's surprising quarterfinal exit at the 2007 World Cup.
He played 116 Super rugby matches for the Brumbies between 1996-2007, including championship-winning seasons in 2001 and '04.
Larkham's age and tender knees may rule him out, so the Brumbies are reportedly targeting a number of senior playmakers including former Wallabies utility Matt Giteau, who left the Brumbies after last season to play in France, and former Australia rugby league international Craig Gower. – Sapa-AP