Friday 19 January 2018

A second New Zealand club have expressed an interest in Ireland boss Joe Schmidt

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire Newsdesk Newsdesk

The uncertainty surrounding Joe Schmidt's Ireland future has taken another twist with reports that a second Super Rugby franchise in his native New Zealand are interested in his services.

The 50-year-old Kiwi, who is contracted to Ireland until the summer of 2017, is reportedly keen on returning home next year and and orderly queue is forming for the two-time Six Nations championship winning coach.

The Highlanders have already made their feelings known and the Chiefs have now thrown their hat into the ring.

The Chiefs' current boss Dave Rennie contracted up until the end of the 2017 campaign but does have a release clause that could see him leave next year.

Rennie is believed to want a role in the Northern Hemisphere and reports in New Zealand suggest that the IRFU would consider him a candidate should Schmidt leave his post next year.

"Joe is definitely a guy we'd be interested in having a discussion with," Chiefs chief executive Andrew Flexman told

"I've been made aware of the fact there's the potential for him to look at moving home next year and there's been some attention around the Highlanders having some interest in him.

"If he was to return, given his pedigree and personal circumstances and the fact he's coached in the Bay of Plenty, he's certainly a guy we'd love to talk to.

"Given what he's achieved in his coaching career if we are looking to appoint a new head coach then he'd be an obvious candidate."

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