Brumbies coach McKellar joins Wallabies

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Brumbies coach Dan McKellar says he sought the opinion of Stephen Larkham, the last man to hold down both a Super Rugby job and Wallabies assistant, before accepting the Test position.

McKellar will join the Wallabies set-up as forwards coach at the end of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman, a year after he was sounded out for the role.

McKellar was asked by Wallabies coach Dave Rennie last year but declined, preferring to focus on the Brumbies.

But after taking his team to their second successive Super Rugby AU final - for a win and a loss - he has opted to sign on for the international season.

He will return to Canberra before the 2022 Super Rugby campaign but is being earmarked for a full-time role with the Wallabies heading into the 2023 Rugby World Cup and as heir apparent to Rennie beyond then.

Australia return to international action in a three-Test campaign against France next month, with game one on July 7 at the SCG.

McKellar said he spoke with his former Brumbies boss Larkham, who held both roles between 2015 and 2017, before taking on the job.

"I spoke with Steve," McKellar said of Larkham, who was sacked from the Wallabies before the 2019 World Cup and now coaches Munster in Ireland.

"We were having these conversations over a year ago.

"Steve's a good mate of mine and we talk footy pretty often and I got his take on it all."

McKellar felt there was sufficient talent in the Wallabies ranks for a "world-class" forward pack, as long as everyone bought in.

"There are technical elements that I think I can help improve and then there's the mindset as well," he said.

"Obviously I'll be going in there and looking after lineout and maul, and if you want to have a good maul then everyone in the forward pack's got to make sure they have that mindset and a thirst to do it and enjoy doing it.

"I see enormous growth there."

Rennie said he'd been impressed by the 44-year-old McKellar, who has guided the Brumbies for the past four seasons.

"Dan has enjoyed some great success in Canberra with the Brumbies over the last few years and has grown as a communicator and a leader," Rennie said.

"I've been really impressed throughout my dealings with Dan and look forward to working alongside him with the rest of the Wallabies coaching group this year."

With no Australian team making the final, there is one round of Super Rugby Trans-Tasman remaining this weekend.

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