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Joe Schmidt set to join All Blacks as selector - reports

The former Ireland head coach is set to replace Grant Fox on Ian Foster’s coaching team.

JOE SCHMIDT IS set to join the All Blacks as a selector, according to reports in New Zealand this morning.

Stuff.co.nz are reporting that Schmidt will replace Grant Fox on the New Zealand coaching team, and that his appointment could be confirmed in the coming days.

The move would be a significant coup for the All Blacks, who endured a difficult end to their 2021 season.

Having won five games from six on their way to winning the 2021 Rugby Championship, Ian Foster’s side signed off for the year with defeats to Ireland and France last month.

Fox’s departure has not yet been confirmed, but will not come as a surprise. He joined the All Blacks as a selector under head coach Steve Hansen in 2011, and had been expected to leave his role following the 2019 Rugby World Cup. However, he was persuaded to continue in the position by Foster, who replaced Hansen after the tournament.

The 2019 World Cup also saw Schmidt step down as Ireland head coach. During his time with Ireland, Schmidt guided the team to three Six Nations titles and the 2018 Grand Slam.

Since leaving the role, Schmidt has worked with World Rugby in the highly influential position of director of rugby and high performance, and was involved in the recent changing of the eligibility rules. In September, Schmidt announced that he would leave that role at the end of this year in order to spend more time with his family.

As recently as last month, Schmidt was confirmed for a new position with Super Rugby side the Blues, joining in a part-time role as a support coach. 

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But he now looks set to take another major step back up the coaching ladder, joining the All Blacks just two years out from the 2023 World Cup.

New Zealand’s opening fixtures of the 2022 season see Ireland visit for a three Test series in July of next year. 

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Ciarán Kennedy

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