- Blues fill void left by Walshe
- Larkin played crucial role in Exeter's rise to the Premiership
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Bedford Blues have moved quickly to fill the void left by Nick Walshe’s move to the RFU by appointing experienced coach Paul Larkin to the management team.
Larkin, 54, had spent 25 years with Northampton Saints as a player and then a coach before leaving the club in 2007. Whilst at the Saints, Larkin worked with the sevens team before being appointed coach by Ian McGeechan in 1994.
He also worked under John Steele, Wayne Smith and Paul Grayson and during his time at Northampton the club won the Heineken Cup in 2000 as well as being runner-up in the same competition in 2007 and finished second in the Premiership in 1999.
After his departure, Larkin returned to his Devon roots and signed with Exeter Chiefs, taking up the role of coach with the task of implementing a performance analysis framework as well as coaching skill and attack to the backs.
He will be a valuable addition to the coaching staff – Rayer
Speaking about the appointment, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: “I’m delighted to be able to welcome a coach of Paul’s calibre to the club and we are all looking forward to working with him throughout the season.
“Paul is very well known to us, particularly Martin Hynes and Matt Volland, and I believe that he will be a valuable addition to the coaching staff. He has been involved with top flight rugby as a player and a coach for 30 years and I think that we are all excited to have a new voice joining the team and offering plenty of advice and opinions.”
Larkin added: “I would like to thank Mike for the opportunity to join Bedford, a club with a rich history that I am very well aware of. I look forward to working with all of the players and coaches to help the Blues progress in the Championship this season. We’ve got plenty of work to do and I can’t wait to get started.”
Paul joined the club on Monday 26 September as the Blues prepare to take on Bristol in the Championship at Goldington Road on Saturday 1 October.