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Joe Schmidt has joined the All Blacks coaching team ahead of Ireland clash

The former Ireland boss will be part of the Kiwi set-up for the three-Test series.

Former Ireland boss Joe Schmidt.
Former Ireland boss Joe Schmidt.

Updated Jun 27th 2022, 10:28 AM

THE ALL BLACKS have drafted Joe Schmidt into their coaching team ahead of Saturday’s first Test against Ireland.

The former Ireland boss comes on board after All Blacks head coach Ian Foster, forwards coach John Plumtree, and defence coach Scott McLeod all tested positive for Covid-19, forcing them into isolation.

Schmidt has now linked up with Kiwi attack coach Brad Mooar and scrum coach Greg Feek, who Schmidt worked with in Ireland.

Schmidt was Ireland’s head coach from 2013 until 2019, leading them to Grand Slam glory in 2018 as well as two other Six Nations titles and their first-ever wins over New Zealand.

He was due to join the All Blacks as an independent selector after the three-Test Ireland series but has now been brought on board at this earlier stage and in a hands-on coaching role as a result of Covid hitting the Kiwis’ camp.

“Joe will come in for Tuesday and Thursday’s trainings this week and we’re really grateful to have his help,” said Foster

“We’ve planned for this kind of disruption and we’ve got backup plans and people on standby. Joe was one of those people we could call on.”

“I’ve got every confidence in our coaching group, and in our senior leaders who are all stepping up in what’s a massive test for us.”

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“Everyone has had to deal with these kinds of disruptions over the past couple of years. This is a real opportunity for the coaching group and team to pull together.”

The All Blacks have also confirmed that centres Jack Goodhue and David Havili both tested positive for Covid. 

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Murray Kinsella

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