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'His rugby mind sets him apart' - Nacewa hopes to see Schmidt back soon

The former Ireland head coach was recently linked with a role in World Rugby.

FORMER LEINSTER CAPTAIN Isa Nacewa says he hopes to see Joe Schmidt back working in professional rugby as soon as possible.

Schmidt stepped down from his role as Ireland head coach after last year’s World Cup in Japan and hasn’t taken up a permanent position since, although he has carried out some consultancy work in recent times.

The 54-year-old was linked with a newly-created role with the game’s governing body, World Rugby, last week.

joe-schmidt-ahead-of-the-game Schmidt stepped down from his Ireland role last year. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A report in the Sunday Times indicated that Schmidt is on the shortlist for a position as World Rugby’s ‘Director of Rugby and High Performance,’ which would involve working closely with match officials and coaches, focusing on potential law changes, and driving the development of the sport around the world.

Nacewa was a key figure in luring Schmidt into Irish rugby with Leinster in 2010, having previously worked with him at the Blues in New Zealand.

Nacewa won two Heineken Cups with Leinster during Schmidt’s time in charge and says rugby will only gain from having his former boss involved again, whether it’s with World Rugby or as the head coach of a professional club or national team.

“The sport is badly missing Joe Schmidt,” said Nacewa.

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“His rugby mind just sets him apart from the majority of the rugby world. There’s not too many who think like him. I heard about the role that his name is pencilled down for, what a phenomenal role.

“He’d pretty much be able to do it with ease and tell everyone what to do from day one.

“It’s just one of those rugby minds. There are guys like Wayne Smith that you hear about and when they’re involved in rugby, things happen and things change and new ideas are brought to the table. I think that’s what Joe will bring.

“I think maybe some time away without the pressures of day-to-day coaching, that will only heighten what he can think of next. You need great minds in rugby to keep the game evolving or else it will be boring. The sooner he gets back in some capacity, the better.” 

Isa Nacewa was speaking as an ambassador for Guinness, who in collaboration with BuJo have created two limited-edition kits, one for Leinster and one for Munster, for the ultimate rugby-at-home experience, the Guinness x Bujo Home Kits.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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