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Dublin: 7°C Friday 4 December 2020

Joe Schmidt signs new contract to remain as Ireland head coach until after 2019 World Cup

The Kiwi has been in charge since November 2013.

Schmidt will remain in charge until the end of the 2019 WC.
Schmidt will remain in charge until the end of the 2019 WC.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

JOE SCHMIDT HAS today signed a new contract with the Irish Football Rugby Union (IRFU) to continue on as Ireland head coach until the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The 51-year-old’s future had been uncertain following suggestions he was contemplating a return home to New Zealand.

However, Schmidt has committed himself to the job for the next World Cup cycle after taking over in November 2013.

During his tenure, the Kiwi guided Ireland to back-to-back Six Nations titles in 2014 and 2015 and this news will come as a major boost ahead of next month’s November Tests.

“I’d like to thank the IRFU for their patience and confidence as the decision to continue took somewhat longer than I’d anticipated,” he said.

“It is difficult at times being so far away from extended family but we appreciate how lucky we are to have the support we have here in Ireland.

“The strength of the rugby community has been incredibly visible over the past week and the enthusiasm of management and players to improve and compete is complemented by a really positive camaraderie.

“The wider community has made us welcome and as a family we have benefited immensely from their support.

“Looking forward there are positive signs with the U20s finalists at the Junior World Championships this year, the provinces topping three of the five European Champions Cup pools as well as Ulster and Leinster sharing the lead of the PRO12 at present.”

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, added:  ”Joe is one of the leading coaches in world rugby and it is fantastic for Irish rugby that he has committed until the end of the World Cup cycle.  We have a talented group of coaches and Joe has been central to attracting coaching talent and driving success with the national team.”

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