IRFU Provide Update On Joe Schmidt’s Future Post World Cup

Will he stay?

IRFU performance director David Nucifora reckons there’s a ‘decent’ chance current head coach Joe Schmidt will stay with Ireland beyond the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Schmidt’s current contract is set to expire following the showpiece event, with many predicting he will cut ties with Ireland and return home to his native New Zealand.

He has been touted as a future All Blacks coach given his incredible record with Ireland, but Nucifora reckons Ireland have a very good chance of once again retaining their man.

“I think all the talk at the moment is about him moving on, purely because he has been here so long,” Nucifora said.

“But if I was a betting man, I wouldn’t know where to put my money at the moment. I think there’s a decent chance that he will stay.

“The first thing that’s got to happen is that he’s got to want to stay. That’s the main thing, and you all know Joe, he’s his own man. He’s got to make his decision. Obviously, we’ll do whatever we can to keep him. We had to do that the last time.”

Nucifora isn’t convince also, that Schmidt wants the All Blacks job.

“The New Zealanders went hard after him the last time and we managed to secure him for this period,” said Nucifora.

“I’m sure there’ll be lots of other people that will be going after him [this time]. But at the end of the day, it will be his decision and we’ll do everything we can to try and keep him here if he wants to stay on.

“I don’t think it is that straightforward that it [coaching the All Blacks] is what he desperately wants to do. I don’t think that this has been some grand plan to come here and do what he’s done just so he can coach New Zealand.

“That’s not him. I don’t think it’s as simple as that. He’s got other things in his life that he’s dealt with. Those things drove him the last time and they’ll probably drive him again as well.”

Nucifora added that they expect to have a decision from Schmidt before next year’s Rugby World Cup in order to give them time to seek out a replacement. He also suggested Schmidt’s successor may come from the current Irish system with the likes of Stuart Lancaster, Andy Farrell and Leo Cullen touted as replacements.

“Well, there’s a strong chance that it could, but we won’t obviously limit ourselves to that,” 

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