Super Rugby

Larkham rules out Brumbies move amid merger talk

Stephen Larkham said Brumbies will "only ever play out of Canberra" amid speculation of a merger with Rebels and sees no reason why the club cannot press on in the search for his successor.

The number of Super Rugby franchises is reportedly set to be reduced from 18 to 16, resulting in uncertainty so early in the 2017 competition.

But talk of Brumbies joining forces with Melbourne side Rebels is news to Larkham.

"We are a Canberra team, we support this region, the region supports us and the Brumbies will only ever play out of Canberra,” said the Brumbies coach, who will leave his role at the end of the season to take up a permanent role with Australia.

"I think it's disappointing that people are even suggesting that [a merger] and I think that's what we're seeing at the moment is that there's a lot of speculation.

"We've had no indication we're not going to be here next year and our mindset is that we're going to be here,

"We've been the most successful Super Rugby franchise in Australia and our books are good, our squad is strong and there's no reason why we can't push ahead for a new coach next year to come and coach the Brumbies here in Canberra."

Larkham also stated he is well aware of why it will take time for any proposed changes to be announced.

"It is [dragging on] but I can understand it's a difficult decision and there's a lot of iterations around one team out, two teams out, three teams out, all that sort of stuff," he added.

"I guess they're working through all of that and they need to get a decision from South Africa before we move on.

"Even when we get that decision, there's a couple more decisions to be made before we make the final decision. I can understand how the process has dragged out."