LEINSTER’S MUCH-RESPECTED head coach Joe Schmidt insists his focus is on the remainder of the province’s season but admits he’d be open to talking to Irish rugby chiefs about the possibility of succeeding Declan Kidney.
Yesterday, TheScore.ie reported that the New Zealander had been contacted by the IRFU as part of the union’s ‘ongoing process’ to find a new coach.
Schmidt — who would be a popular choice amongst Ireland rugby supporters — is expected to meet with the Leinster committee this week to discuss the possibility of leaving to take up the Irish position.
“Look to be honest, that’s entirely dependent on Leinster, because that’s where my commitment lies,” Schmidt told RTÉ over the weekend, when asked about the possibility.
“I’ve made a commitment to them and I’d have to say I’ve never not completed a contract that I’ve committed to, so yeah if that’s determined as something they’re interested in doing, then that’s not quite in my hands but I’d be interested in seeing at least what they had to say.
“And I guess in the end I wouldn’t like to speculate about anything, I would have to say it’s unlikely just because my commitment is to Leinster at this stage.”
Schmidt is contracted to the reigning European champions until the end of the 2014 season. Ireland will play the US Eagles and Canada this summer. The side, at present, will be led by former backs coach Les Kiss.