Saturday 20 January 2018

Rory Best: Players want Joe Schmidt to stay on as coach

Rory Best wants Joe Schmidt to stay on as Ireland coach
Rory Best wants Joe Schmidt to stay on as Ireland coach
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ireland captain Rory Best has urged Joe Schmidt to consider staying on beyond the end of his current contract which expires in June 2017.

The head coach says he will consider his future after the summer tour in South Africa this year as he weighs up whether he will carry on until the 2019 World Cup or pursue other options elsewhere.

Schmidt is enduring his first trophy-less season since he came to Leinster in 2010 after his team suffered a disappointing World Cup exit at the hands of Argentina, but Best says the playing group have full faith in the New Zealander and the current coaching ticket which welcomes Andy Farrell on board after the Six Nations.

“Absolutely, from a player’s point of view; this coaching staff is one of the best I’ve ever worked with. It’d be great to keep it together and pushing forward,” he said.

“I know we’re going for third tomorrow, but two titles in three years is not bad going. We wanted to make it three in a row and that shows that we’ve been pushing on.”

Having shaken off the calf problem that ruled him out of action, Best is aiming to finish his first campaign as skipper on a high with victory over Scotland at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow.

“We always take each game as it comes as a cliché, it’s just another big game that we want to win,” he said after the Captain’s Run press conference.

“We’ve been disappointed with some of the aspects of our play and some results, but this game tomorrow is a chance to step forward and show that mistakes earlier through inaccuracy and change, that we learnt and we’re getting back to our basics and want to push beyond that.

“You always hope it’ll be your best performance, we’ve trained really well since England. We’ve been hard on our accuracy, hard on our decisions.

“The way we’ve trained... I know this is crystal ball stuff, but we’re as prepared as we could have for this game.”

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