New Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham says Australia’s top Super Rugby players were able to briefly put their state rivalries on ice to see the bigger picture at a recent camp in Brisbane.
With a view to the World Cup later this year, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika gathered 51 players from all five franchises in a three-day workshop to talk about what’s required to win back the Webb Ellis Cup.
Larkham conceded the timing was awkward following a number of heated Australian derbies, notably NSW’s clash with the Brumbies which led to Waratahs flanker Jacques Potgieter fined $10,000 for making homophobic remarks.
However, there was no lingering ill-feeling between the players by the end of the camp on Tuesday.
“No, it was pretty good,” said Brumbies coach Larkham on Wednesday.
“We’d had a week between games, but the first day (of the camp) was difficult for players from all squads, I think, just coming together and having that ability to be nice and open and honest with one another.
“Certainly by the end of the camp, everyone was fine.”
Larkham also got his first taste of the style and strategies Cheika aims to employ when he steps away from the Waratahs and sinks his teeth into the Wallabies role.
“That was the first time that I’d come together with any of the players – outside the Brumbies players that is – and there was a lot of explanation to me about how they played on Spring Tour in attack,” Larkham said.
“And yeah, there is a fair bit of the Waratahs stuff in there, and there will be some tweaks here and there, but I think the key is to work out how we want to play around multi-phase and then really buy into it.”