Sunday 18 August 2019

Joe Schmidt returns to New Zealand ahead of first World Cup warm-up game after family bereavement

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has returned home to New Zealand ahead of the first World Cup warm-up game against Italy after a family bereavemen. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has returned home to New Zealand ahead of the first World Cup warm-up game against Italy after a family bereavemen. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

IRELAND trained at Carton House this morning without their head coach Joe Schmidt who has returned to New Zealand after a family bereavement.

Along with fellow assistants Simon Easterby, Richie Murphy and Greg Feek, Andy Farrell took charge of training yesterday and today and will guide the team run on Thursday morning.

Scrum coach Greg Feek said the head coach is expected to return towards the end of the week.

"Unfortunately, Joe had to go back to New Zealand after a family bereavement. On behalf of the team of the team we’d like to extend condolences to his family," Feek said.

"He’ll be back towards the end of the week.

"Joe’s had things in place, players know their roles. It’s been quite seamless. We know Joe is on the computer and keeping an eye on things. We have to keep going.

"Andy is taking the reins and he’s doing a good job to be fair to him."

Feek said Ireland have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the game, quipping that Johnny Sexton gave him a thumbs up as he went to training after his recent hand problem.

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