As part of the ACT Brumbies new “USA Brumbies” program coach Stephen Larkham has flown over to the US in hopes of spending time at the four-time Super Bowl champions New York Giants in hopes of learning the winning secrets as well try to break rugby union in to the competitive American market.
As part of his trip Larkham will join Brumbies scrum coach Dan Palmer and retired winger Clyde Rathbone as they travel around America hosting coaching clinics and visiting universities around the country. During this tour Larkham hopes to visit the Giants and get an idea of the facilities and the coaching set-ups as well as learn the secrets of success.
“We’re going to try to get to a couple of NFL franchises,” Larkham told Fairfax Media. “The universities have good set-ups over there, as well, so I think we can pick up good ideas. We’ll look at the NFL training – their facilities will be totally different and we’ll look at the way they coach. If we can get behind the scenes we can pick up little things to help us get better.”
Ultimately the Brumbies plan is to set up an academy based at Arizona State University, where potential Super Rugby recruits will train before possibly trying out in Australia. Arizona State University has more than 60,000 students, the largest student population in the US and plays in division one of the National Collegiate Athletic Association competitions.
Larkham will start in New Jersey, where he hopes to link up with the Giants, before he visits West Point military academy in New York state.
While over there the Brumbies will be able to evaluate the untapped talent at universities across the nation. This will all take place as part of an academy relationship the Brumbies have built between international sides, including the Papua New Guinea national side and Japanese club Kubota Spears.