Joe Schmidt ‘Surprised’ By Carbery’s Decision To Move To Munster

News to me.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt says he was ‘surprised’ by Joey Carbery’s decision to leave Leinster and join provincial rivals Munster ahead of the 2018/2019 season.

Carbery is believed to have signed a two-year deal with the southern province, and will link up with his new teammates after Ireland’s summer tour of Australia.

Schmidt says he hasn’t had time to digest the move properly, and says he left the decision completely in Carbery’s hands, but admits he did have a chat with the youngster after being pictured grabbing a coffee with him a few weeks back.

“It’s new news to me,” said Schmidt.

“I haven’t had time to digest it personally. It’s a decision Joey has taken a bit of time over. It doesn’t seem to have affected his performances any. I think he’s played very well.

“I understand why Leinster would be desperately keen to hang on to him and why Munster feel that it’s a huge bonus for them.

“That’s a decision he’s made. Apart from him catching up with me, which was nicely photographed, I’ve left him to it.”


Schmidt also said he is unaware if there is a deal in place that Munster must play him at ten as opposed to fullback ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup next year. But has admitted he did meet with Leo Cullen during their Champions Cup preparations.

He said it wasn’t the best of timing, but that he “had a job to do”.

“The initial conversation with Leo and myself and David Nucifora was not the best timing for any of us,” added Schmidt

“It certainly wasn’t where I wanted to be at the time but I had a job to do.”

“I honestly wasn’t sure what he was going to do,”

“I thought quite possibly he was going to stay put. I haven’t had that much time to think about it. I’ve had a quite a few other things on my plate.”

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