Sunday 17 November 2019

Joe Schmidt ready to begin new coaching role next season

Kiwi ‘blown away’ by offers as he considers his future on back of Ireland’s World Cup disaster

Head coach Joe Schmidt is greeted by supporters on the Ireland Rugby Team's return at Dublin Airport from the Rugby World Cup. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Head coach Joe Schmidt is greeted by supporters on the Ireland Rugby Team's return at Dublin Airport from the Rugby World Cup. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Des Berry

Joe Schmidt could be back in management before the start of next season and the outgoing Ireland head coach says he has been "blown away" by some of the offers made to him already.

Last November the New Zealander announced his intention to retire from coaching after the World Cup but last night, speaking on the squad's return home at Dublin Airport, Schmidt insisted he would consider a return to the game next summer after taking some time away from the sidelines.

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"I know I'm not going to do it in the near future," said the 54-year-old, who will be replaced by his assistant Andy Farrell. "I've been blown away by some of the approaches and incredibly humbled by them.

"I made a commitment that I'm going to absolutely stick to, through to at least June or July of next year."

While his personal circumstances have changed, these comments contrast with his declaration last November when announcing his intention to step down.

"I have decided to finish coaching and will prioritise family commitments after the Rugby World Cup in 2019," he said at the time.

Despite finishing on a sour note, following Saturday's 46-14 World Cup quarter-final exit to New Zealand, the former Leinster boss insisted he "loved" his time in the job, which delivered three Six Nations Championships, including the 2018 Grand Slam.

"It hasn't been a job, it has been a way of life. It has been seven days a week and I think I can honestly say, in six and a half years I've not taken one, full day off," he said.

"There's not one day where I don't think I've either been scribbling notes or watching footage, or getting to a game or doing some coaching.

"I've loved it."

However, after Ireland's shocking under-performance against New Zealand, Schmidt admitted he got some of the preparation wrong heading to Japan.

"Maybe we built (the World Cup) into a self-consuming monster.

"We didn't play as well as we could. I have to take responsibility for that. If I had my time over I might do it a little bit differently."

Irish Independent

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