Stormers

Larkham Stormers move dismissed

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Wallaby Communications Manager Michael Earsman on Tuesday dismissed media reports that Stephen Larkham might join the Stormers for the 2008 Super 14.

“He was exploring career options in terms of post career, but is definitely not looking at playing with the Stormers,” Earsman told this website.

The Sydney Morning Herald ran a report on Tuesday saying the recently appointed Western Province Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus would be flying to Marseille on Thursday before meeting with the Wallaby veteran.

Erasmus’ lawyer Frikkie Erasmus did confirm, also on Tuesday, that the trip to France would take place and added that the Stormers coach was in fact searching for a fly-half, which could be any of the fly-halves participating in the World Cup.

While Earsman didn’t deny that Erasmus and Larkham could possibly meet in Marseille, where the Wallabies are currently based for their World Cup quarter-final against England, he was adamant that the meeting wouldn’t be about Larkham moving to Cape Town for the 2008 season.

“They may well be planning to meet, but that is about it really,” said Earsman.

Interestingly enough, the Wallaby ‘spin doctor’ didn’t explain what Erasmus and Larkham could possibly discuss if they in fact did meet.

Larkham, who’s prospects of competing in the World Cup again are looking rather slim, has yet to find a rugby team to play for after the World Cup since his contract with Edinburgh fell through earlier this year.

A six-month deal with the Stormers, which is what Erasmus is reportedly exploring would most certainly be the ideal option for the Wallaby pivot as it would keep Larkham employed until the overseas market heats up again.

There is also speculation that Larkham could eventually ply his trade in Japan next year, which couldn’t be confirmed by Earsman.

What has been established though, is that Larkham has now started walking freely again after his second knee operation last week.

When the pivot left the hospital in Montpellier last Thursday he could only walk with crutches.

But the negative aspect is that Larkham still can’t run or take part in active training sessions. The Wallabies continue to be positive nevertheless.

After Larkham was reassessed by team doctors on Monday, Earsman said that there were indeed positive signs.

“He is looking to start running early next week or even possibly by the end of this week,” Earsman concluded.

by Siyabonga Mchunu 365 Digital

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