Tuesday 17 September 2019

Gopperth: Schmidt 'deserves' chance at New Zealand job

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Sportsfile
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Former Leinster out-half Jimmy Gopperth says Joe Schmidt "definitely deserves" the chance to coach New Zealand and has backed the Ireland head coach to succeed Steve Hansen after the 2019 World Cup, writes Will Slattery.

Schmidt's contract with Ireland expires after the World Cup, with the New Zealander set to confirm his future after this month's internationals. The All Blacks are expected to announce their succession plan in the near future too and many are speculating that Schmidt will finally return home to take up rugby's biggest job.

Speaking on The Left Wing, Independent.ie's rugby podcast, Wasps out-half Gopperth said that he feels Schmidt is the right man to take New Zealand forward after the competition in Japan.

"It's an interesting one, isn't it?" he said. "What Joe has done for Ireland and Leinster has been phenomenal. It's pretty hard to knock him as a coach, he is one of the best coaches in the world.

"Those All Blacks coaches, they seem to stay in the system. One goes off and then the next cab in the rank gets pushed forward.

"But I think Joe is going to have a massive opportunity to take the reins at the All Blacks and I'm hoping they will give him a crack because he definitely deserves it. He has been away from New Zealand for a while but he is a Kiwi and I'm sure he would love to coach the All Blacks at some stage."

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