Mowen backs new Brumbies model

15Jan

The selfless attitudes of Laurie Fisher and Stephen Larkham will ensure the Brumbies’ new co-coaching model will continue their Super Rugby rise, according to Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen.

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The Brumbies No.8 has endorsed the European-style structure which sees “director of rugby” Fisher take over from Jake White as the main man and Larkham become “head coach”.

The appointments were announced in Canberra on Friday and newly-appointed Test captain Mowen could not have been happier as he prepared for Australia’s clash with England in London.

He confirmed the buck would stop with Fisher but the pair would continue to work hand in glove as they did under South African White for the past two years.

“It’s definitely the best way forward for us,” the Brumbies captain said. “You definitely didn’t want to lose one of those guys.”

“I think it’s very fitting that we get the best of both worlds from both those guys.”

Under White, who controversially cut short his four-year contract to return to South Africa, breakdown guru Fisher was the forwards coach while former Wallabies playmaker guided the backs.

The partnership had an immediate impact last year by helping take the ACT team from 13th to seventh, before losing a tight Super Rugby decider to the Chiefs this season.

While Fisher’s new role will see him take up more off-field responsibilities, he will also remain a hands-on mentor.

Fisher was Larkham’s former coach at the Brumbies for three seasons before the five-eighth retired in 2007.

“The important thing the players were really happy with making the shift to that formation it enables the contact hours to remain the same for those two guys,” Mowen said.

“The final word will be with Laurie as director.

“But I know the way those two guys operate is always back and forth.

“They’re very selfless people so the direction of the team will always come first. They have the right formation there.”

The Queensland Reds carried the same sort of model in 2013 with Ewen McKenzie in charge as director of rugby and assistant Richard Graham titled head coach.

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