Schmidt On If Jared Payne Will Play For Ireland Again & His New Coaching Role

“I wouldn’t rule him out.”

Ireland boss Joe Schmidt was today asked about Jared Payne and his new coaching responsibilities with Ulster. The Ireland international hasn’t played rugby since last summer’s Lions tour, with many fearing his career might be over.

Payne has been suffering with migraines, and no return date has been set for him. Schmidt however, says he remains in contact with the Ulster star, and by no means should he be ruled out just yet.

“Jared might not be finished playing the game yet.” Schmidt said

“I’ve had discussions with Jared, they’re ongoing. And we’ll continue to have discussions.

“He’s in great shape. I wouldn’t rule him out.”

In terms of Payne’s new coaching role with Ulster, Schmidt thinks he will excel due to his “understanding of the game.”

“He’s got a real understanding of the game.” Schmidt added.

So to have him involved in coaching and to have that experience that he brought to our team, I think you only have to ask the players how comfortable he made other players feel. Because he understood the game.

“And that’s got to be good.”

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