Joe Schmidt named Philips Sports Manager of the Year for the second time

The Ireland head coach was presented with his award at a gala lunch in Dublin this afternoon.

JOE SCHMIDT’S ROLE in masterminding Ireland’s most successful season has been recognised, after the Kiwi was named Philips Sports Manager of the Year for 2018.

Beating off stiff competition from Ireland women’s hockey coach Graham Shaw and Leinster boss Leo Cullen, it is the second time Schmidt has won the end-of-year award after also receiving the accolade in 2014.

Joe Schmidt Schmidt with his award. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Schmidt, who recently announced he is leaving the Ireland head coach role after next year’s World Cup, was presented with the award by Brendan Griffin, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, at an awards lunch in Ballsbridge this afternoon.

Schmidt beat off 11 other monthly winners, including Shaw, Cullen, Limerick hurling manager John Kiely, Dublin boss Jim Gavin and Stephen Kenny, who guided Dundalk to a league and cup domestic double this season.  

It was an unprecedented season of success for Ireland, as Schmidt’s side suffered just one Test defeat all year, as they claimed a third Grand Slam, a first series win in Australia in 28 years and a first home win over the All Blacks as part of a November clean sweep.

Schmidt’s side suffered just one Test defeat all year, winning a third Grand Slam in the country’s history at Twickenham in March, securing a series in Australia and capping the year with a first win in Ireland against New Zealand during the November international series.

Earlier, it was reported Schmidt had turned down a job on the All Blacks coaching team last year, instead choosing to lead Ireland into the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

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New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew told the New Zealand Herald that Schmidt had been offered the chance to replace Wayne Smith in the All Blacks set-up in 2017, but chose to sign a two-year contract extension with the IRFU at the time. 

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Ryan Bailey

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