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Eight things you might not know about Joe

n His first coaching job was at Mullingar RFC in 1991 where he showed signs of things to come when he revolutionised the midlands club's fortunes.

Schmidt knows his horses. He comes from the equivalent of the Curragh in New Zealand and his two brothers are involved in the bloodstock industry.

• Joe is credited with bringing a degree of humility to Leinster's swashbucklers. One ex-player describes how Joe stopped some of his teammates leaving through the back door of the dressing room after games and insisted players meet their fans waiting outside – the people responsible for filling the RDS.

• He insists on visiting grassroots clubs to spread the message and is a witty public speaker.

• Schmidt remains on very good terms with his old club Clermont Auvergne, who defeated Munster at the weekend, and is good pals with his old pal Vern Cotter.

• Schmidt is a former English teacher and was deputy head master in his native New Zealand at the Tauranga Boys' College.

• Isa Nacewa is departing these shores at the end of the season but it was the former Fiji international who recommended Schmidt to Leinster in 2009, when Michael Cheika was leaving.

• Schmidt wasn't always flavour of the month and often recalls his tempestuous introduction to Leinster in 2010 when he lost four of his first five games in charge.

Irish Independent