Wednesday 17 July 2019

Ian Madigan: All the players would love if Joe Schmidt stayed on as Ireland coach

Declan Whooley

Leinster and Ireland back Ian Madigan has lauded Joe Schmidt for being "ahead of the game" and hopes he will remain in charge of the national team for the foreseeable future.

Madigan was speaking at the launch of the new Canterbury IRFU RWC Training Wear Range along with fellow Leinster team-mates and international colleagues Luke Fitzgerald and Sean O'Brien.

Schmidt has overseen successive Six Nations titles, plus a clean sweep in last year's Autumn internationals, and expectations are growing that Ireland can mount a serious challenge at this year's World Cup.

Speculation has surrounded Schmidt's future with contract discussions yet to get underway with the IRFU and rumours abound that the Kiwi could be enticed by a role on his native New Zealand.

Madigan was adamant that the players are fully behind the Kiwi remaining in charge of the highly thought of head coach.

"All the players would love if he stayed on. He's a quality coach, always seems to have a cutting edge and ahead of the game," he told

"He's a pleasure to play under, all the other guys would love to see him play on as well."

Sean O'Brien said that while the season was disappointing from a Leinster perspective, he was just happy to get back onto the pitch after a long injury lay-off.

"I had a tough run of it last year so I'm glad to be back playing, playing every week and being available for selection," he said.

"I'm feeling good."

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