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'That's why New Zealand wanted to bring him home': Hansen hails Schmidt influence

That contract through the 2019 World Cup looks like better and better business every day.
Nov 6th 2016, 6:19 PM 16,026 10

Sean Farrell reports from Chicago

NEW ZEALAND HEAD coach Steve Hansen has labeled Joe Schmidt as ‘one of the best coaches around’ after Ireland’s historic win over the All Blacks yesterday.

Ireland scored five tries and 40 points over a Kiwi outfit who had been on an 18-game winning run dating back to August last year. The performance was laden with all the hallmarks of Schmidt special as Ireland set about the world champions with an accurate, destructive yet creative onslaught.

“He’s probably one of the best coaches around,” Hansen said of his opposite number today before taking his squad to Rome.

He’s meticulous in his work ethic, a good analyst of the game and that’s why Ireland want to keep him and why New Zealand wanted to bring him home.”

Schmidt renewed his contract to remain in charge of Ireland through the 2019 World Cup late last month. But through the summer there had been persistent links connecting him with a move to the Chiefs and Highlanders after the Super Rugby sides lost Dave Rennie to Glasgow and Jamie Joseph to Japan respectively.

Hansen was asked if he could find a source of pride that it took a Kiwi coach to dismantle his All Black side and inflict only his fourth defeat since taking over from Graham Henry after the 2011 World Cup. However, the gruff Dunedin man shrugged off the suggestion and turned the praise back to Schmidt.

“It’s good for Joe, and Joe’s a really good man, I’ve got a lot of time for him as all our coaching staff has. He’s a top bloke.

“He’s working hard and trying to do something with Ireland and he’s having some success.

“They’re having a great year, they’ve knocked over South Africa and they’ve knocked us over. So he’ll be feeling pretty pleased with himself and so he should.

“He’s done a good job with them and the rest of his crew are supporting him. So I don’t think there’s any big significance. Some people will get excited about it I suppose, but it doesn’t make any difference to us who it is.

“You don’t like losing at the best of times but in saying that you have to accept it. Thankfully we get another opportunity in a couple of weeks’ time and we’ll see if we’re good enough then.”

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Forget the Cubs! Ireland’s breathless win over ABs is the great Chicago story

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Sean Farrell

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