IRFU CEO Identifies Joe Schmidt’s Perfect Replacements

Plan B.

IRFU CEO Philip Browne has identified the English duo of Stuart Lancaster and Andy Farrell as the perfect replacements for Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt should he decide to leave when his contract expires following the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Schmidt is yet to make a decision on his future, revealing earlier this month he will decide once the November internationals have concluded. The number one priority of course is to retain Schmidt, but Ireland are no doubt already exploring what their plan b is.

Farrell is currently part of Joe Schmidt’s backroom team as defence coach and has built up a fantastic reputation since leaving England in 2015. Farrell was sacked by England along with their head coach Lancaster, after they were unceremoniously knocked out of the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Lancaster meanwhile has reignited his career with Leinster, playing a huge role in their double-winning success last season. And Browne thinks both coaches are “more than capable” of succeeding Joe Schmidt.

“They’re both hugely impressive individuals,” Browne told The Telegraph

“You only have to hear what the Leinster players say about Stuart. And what the Ireland players – and the Lions players – say about Andy.

“So whoever has either of them in their coaching set-up is very fortunate. We’re very fortunate to have Andy in our national set-up at the moment.”