Larkham’s Now A Ricoh Ram

16 02 2008

Japan – Ricoh Black Rams unveiled their latest acquisition: former Wallabies legend, flyhalf Stephen Larkham. Larkham certainly leaves a hole at the ACT Brumbies he just departed (ACT got slaughtered in their opening round match against Crusaders), and the Wallabies just won’t be the same without him.

Ricoh will definitely be a better team for Larkham, but then they couldn’t be much worse. Years ago, Ricoh were one of the best teams in Japan… but they now find themselves relegated out of the Top League, and into East Japan Top 11. Larkham stated that he had no concerns when he discovered that Ricoh were to be relegated.

“Ricoh is a very proud company with a long tradition in rugby,” Larkham said. “Obviously it is disappointing to be in the second division but my goal is to help the team play good football and get back in the Top League.”

Stephen ‘Bernie’ LarkhamLarkham brings a wealth of experience to the Black Rams, and they get a player who can sometimes do the impossible. Larkham’s drop goal to win the ’99 semi-final against South Africa is the stuff legends are made of. The Australian brings 10 years experience in both the National team and within Super14’s ACT Brumbies equate to Stephen Larkham playing for a very long time at the highest levels in the World.

Originally, Larkham was to sign with Edinburgh, but due to financial issues between the Scottish Rugby Union and the region, the deal evaporated. It is more than a little surprising that he ends up in Japan, especially playing with what amounts to being a second tier side. Still, Larkham asserts that he’s always wanted to finish up his rugby in Japan, and it’s proximity to Australia can only be a positive.

One thing’s for sure, the Black Rams will have at least one player who’s more than competitive on the turf next season.

Welcome to Japan Bernie.

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9 responses

17 02 2008
Aaron Becker

Hey Malice, do you play in any league tipping comps – just for fun ones? I used to run one for family/friends – it was called ‘Beat the Yank’ – for about 5+ seasons after I 1st moved down here, but quit. If you do, I’ll join and partake, just for the funzies of it.

18 02 2008

League? As in Rugby League? Or Union…

19 02 2008
Aaron Becker

League. I can’t watch union, even if I had the time for it ;~)

19 02 2008

Can’t even begin to compare the two games! Rugby is the game they play in heaven, mate! League is a bit like professional wrestling – you have to admire the athleticism of the guys who do, but it’s not a real sport……

20 02 2008
Aaron Becker

You couldn’t get me into the union vs league fight/debate ;~) LOLOL

Now the football vs rugby/league, that would be a funner story, err, “discussion”.

20 02 2008

I think I’m in a League tipping comp somewhere (Brad knows?)… Will check & get back with details…

20 02 2008

Hi Don, I think it’s great for Japanese rugby to have a guy who is a true professional like Larkham.(My second favorite Aussie after Mortlock).

RE: League vs. Union The only time I really like watching RL is when they have the State of Origin Series. Like the AFL grand final, it is a sporting event that is SO Australian that it’s great to watch.

20 02 2008

Agreed (on Larkham) – and I think he’ll do wonders here…

21 02 2008
Aaron Becker

>>I think I’m in a League tipping comp somewhere (Brad knows?)… Will check & get back with details…<<

Kay, no big hurry. Maybe post details with your next rugby/league blogging.

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