Joe Schmidt On Whether Or Not He Has A Say On Provincial Selection

Joe Schmidt has denied reports he has a say when it comes to provincial selection.

The Ireland boss sat down with Michael Corcoran on RTÉ’s Sunday Sport, in a fascinating interview where he categorically denied having any influence over provincial selection each week.

“Do they really say that? Oh, wow, they haven’t said it to me,” Schmidt said.
“I probably choose not to [read the papers] but I did hear the commentary last week, which did astound me considering that I’d probably an hour’s meeting with that coach and he told me what his team was on the Thursday and we’d had a really good conversation and a really positive one and it just astounds me that someone can be so definitive about something and inaccurate at the same time.
“Look, I wouldn’t even want the job of picking those teams. I think there’s some incredibly difficult decisions that have to be made on some of those teams.”

Schmidt added:

“I was looking at the Leinster back row, for example, there’s some conundrums there that are great to have but I’m glad I’m not having to pick them.
“All the coaches, I think Pat [Lam’s] done a super job, obviously over the last three to four years, he’s been there. I think Les [Kiss] getting Jono [Gibbs] on board for next year and I think they’ve had a lot of injuries to key players, which have made it a battle but they’ve still scrambled into the top four, and hopefully they can hang in there and get to a Pro12 semi-final. Obviously Leinster and Munster are flying along at the moment.”

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