This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 1 °C Monday 21 January, 2019

Schmidt looks forward to family time but not ruling out coaching return

‘Never say never,’ the 53-year-old said.

JOE SCHMIDT SAYS spending more time with his family is one of the primary reasons why he will take a step back from coaching after next year’s World Cup, but refused to rule out a return to work at some point in the future.

The Kiwi — today named as Philips Sports Manager of the Year for 2018 — admitted his decision to leave his post as Ireland head coach is ‘tough enough to come to terms with’, but is looking forward to spending more time at home.

Joe Schmidt Schmidt at today's awards lunch in Dublin. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“For me, there is the older generation and my son [Luke] the younger generation that will take up a lot of time in those 12 months post finishing,” he said at Dublin’s InterContinental Hotel this afternoon. 

“I’m looking forward to that as a different sort of challenge because I don’t get home very often. I’m away a lot and in the coming year I’m going to be out of the home for more days than I am in the home.

“It’s a tough enough decision to come to terms with. For me I’m just fully focused on the next 11 months It couldn’t be a bigger 11 months for us. We’ve got England in seven and a half weeks. I’m pretty good at shortening the focus. As a group we just want to roll our sleeves up and stay as competitive as we can.”

Schmidt, speaking after collecting the award for the second time, having previously won it in 2014, said the Ireland coaching team — including his successor Andy Farrell — will ensure the legacy continues after his departure. 

I think that’s part of it. Part of it is I think we have a great group of coaches. I always feel guilty getting awards like that because it is very much a team effort, a team behind the team, that’s not only the coaches, the physios, the analysts, logistics, nutritionists — there are so many involved in the jigsaw puzzle that needs to come together to paint the picture that allows these players to be as effective as they can be. We are in a good place from that perspective.

“With Simon [Easterby] and Andy and Richie [Murphy] — they are so competent. I think they will do a great job. There are all sorts of up sides to it.”

It was earlier reported that Schmidt refused an offer from New Zealand Rugby to join Steve Hansen’s All Blacks coaching team last year, instead choosing to sign a two-year contract extension with the IRFU at the time.

The 53-year-old added: “I would say it is difficult not to stay where I am. It’s difficult not to keep doing what I am doing with a fantastic group of people. Whatever decision you make you never say never but you’re always trying to be the best you can in a very short term you have left. For me, that’s 11 months. I’m not looking any more forward than that.” 

Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel