Joe Schmidt Forced To Abandon Ireland Preparations & Fly Home To New Zealand

Flight home.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has been forced to abandon preparations for this weekend’s warm-up game with Italy and fly home to New Zealand following a family bereavement.

In his absence, Andy Farrell, who will replace Joe Schmidt as head coach after the World Cup, has been taking charge of Ireland’s training sessions, with Schmidt set to be back in time for Saturday’s game.

Ireland take on Italy in the first of four warm-up games this weekend as preparations for the World Cup intensify.

“Unfortunately, Joe had to go back to New Zealand after a family bereavement.” Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek said at Carton House today.

“On behalf of the team of the team we’d like to extend condolences to his family.”

“He’ll be back towards the end of the week. Joe’s had things in place, players know their roles. It’s been quite seamless.”

“We know Joe is on the computer and keeping an eye on things. We have to keep going.”

“Andy is taking the reins and he’s doing a good job to be fair to him.”

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