Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Dan Sheridan/INPHO
# lions bar
Schmidt rules himself out of Lions coaching role
The Kiwi says his contract with the IRFU wouldn’t allow him to lead the tour to his homeland next year.

JOE SCHMIDT HAS revealed that the terms of his current Ireland contract prevent him from taking a year-long sabbatical, which is required for the Lions head coach role ahead of the 2017 tour of New Zealand.

Schmidt, who has led Ireland to back-to-back Six Nations championships, is a leading contender for the top job along with Wales head coach Warren Gatland, who oversaw the 2-1 series victory against Australia in 2013.

Gatland has a contract clause that will allow him to take a year out from his role with Wales, should he be offered the Lions gig. Schmidt, however, has downplayed the possibility of a similar arrangement with the IRFU.

“The terms of my current contract don’t allow me to do the Lions,” said Schmidt on the gruelling 2017 assignment.

“It’s actually a moot point. It doesn’t distract me because it isn’t something that I can do unless the terms of my contract change.

“I don’t plan beyond where my contract finishes to be honest. If you’re a coach sometimes you don’t get to the finish because that’s the harsh reality. It is a very success-driven, results-driven environment.”

Schmidt’s contract expires in June 2017, just days before the Lions jet off on their New Zealand journey.

That All Blacks odyssey is far from Schmidt’s mind, however, as he prepares his squad for their seismic Six Nations opener against Wales in 11 days’ time.

Exclusive Six
Nations Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella’s exclusive analysis of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign this spring

Become a Member

“It is not something I think about,” Schmidt added.

I don’t think you can get distracted by things external to the bubble that we live in and our bubble is about how we can be the best prepared that we can be.

“The focus for players and coaches is to make sure that we do as well as we can in the Championship.”

Boost for Ireland as Schmidt says Sexton is ‘ready to go’ for Wales opener

Rugby league star filmed simulating sex act with dog during Australia Day celebrations

Your Voice
Readers Comments