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Call me maybe? Joe Schmidt expects Ireland decision soon

Schmidt is widely expected to be confirmed as the next Ireland coach in the coming days.

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

JOE SCHMIDT’S PHONE is fully charged but he’s still waiting for the IRFU to call.

The Leinster boss is widely expected to be confirmed as the next Ireland coach in the coming days but he hasn’t spoken to the decision-makers since sitting down for an interview last week.

With an ‘A’ game against Munster and Saturday’s Amlin semi-final Biarritz very much on his mind, Schmidt said that if the IRFU are planning to pick up the phone, some time within the next day or two would be ideal.

“There’s nothing to add there really,” Schmidt said as he briefed the media this afternoon.

“I know it will be soon because I’m under pressure here at Leinster as well. I think that once there’s clarity, everyone can move forward and I’m pretty keen to do that.

The busiest days for me are Monday through Thursday, and the back end of the week is usually a little bit lighter but with greater pressure obviously leading into the game.

We’ve got an ‘A’ game away in Limerick tomorrow night and I’ll be travelling down to that after we’ve trained here so there won’t be too many windows available. I’m doing a charity thing as well for St Michael’s House tonight so there’s not a lot of windows to actually sit down and catch up.

Barring a call this evening, it’s likely that speculation will still be swirling around Schmidt’s future when he names his team to face Biarritz at lunchtime tomorrow.

But despite the talk among fans and media, the New Zealander made it clear that Saturday’s semi-final in the RDS has had his undivided attention this week.

“To be honest it’s not too distracting for me. When you’ve got a team like Biarritz coming to town it’s not too much of a distraction because you’ve really got to keep your focus on what’s immediately in front of you.”

He added: “It’s good to have the bulk of the squad available and training. It was a little bit damp out there this morning but the accuracy was still not too bad. Certainly the enthusiasm was there and there is a bit of an edge at the moment.”

– Reporting by Patrick McCarry

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