Sydney - Rugby World Cup-winning former Australia flyhalf Stephen Larkham has turned down the chance of working under the new Wallabies coach on the upcoming tour of Europe to focus on his job at the Brumbies.
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) is expected to name Waratahs coach Michael Cheika as replacement for Ewen McKenzie, who quit suddenly last Saturday, before the squad departs on Friday.
Larkham, who played 102 times for his country, had been touted as a possible backs coach to work under Cheika but has decided it is not the right time for him.
"While I was honoured to be considered, I felt like taking five weeks out of my first solo preparation for a Super Rugby season wouldn't be fair on the Brumbies, the local community or my family," Larkham said in a news release.
"I am passionate about the success of Australian rugby, but at this point in time I think I can best serve the Wallabies by remaining focused on the Brumbies, who I hope will make up the backbone of the squad leading into the World Cup.
"Our own programme is about to kick off here in Canberra and it would be difficult for me to deliver the outcomes expected of me if I'm not on the ground from day one."
The Brumbies lost in the semi-finals to the Waratahs last season under the joint guidance of Larkham and veteran Laurie Fisher, who has since departed for English club Gloucester.
Australia will play the Barbarians and tests against Wales, France, Ireland and England on the tour.