Monday 26 September 2016

Joe Schmidt strongly linked with move to New Zealand

Harry Clarke

Published 12/06/2016 | 13:00

Joe Schmidt hugs his captain Rory Best after Ireland's spectacular victory over South Africa
Joe Schmidt hugs his captain Rory Best after Ireland's spectacular victory over South Africa

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has been linked with a move to New Zealand club Highlanders when his contract expires next year.

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The New Zealand Herald reports that Highlanders CEO Roger Clark has spoken to Schmidt and that the move could lead to the Irish coach taking over the All Blacks in 2019 when current coach Steve Hansen's contract expires.

“I’ve gone round and deliberately contacted coaches like Schmidt overseas and talked to all of them to see what their thinking is around coming back to New Zealand and also coaching the Highlanders,” said Clark.

“They’re all looking at the opportunities looking towards 2019. Even though (Steve Hansen) hasn’t committed yet, they know that’s going to be the case. They’re all looking at opportunities towards there.

“They know they’ve got to be coaching Super Rugby and they know there’s not too many options in Super Rugby because we’ve got a number of coaches that are locked in until ’19 now.”

The news come son the back of one of Schmidt's greatest results yesterday when Ireland beat South Africa 26-20.

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