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26th Nov 2018

Joe Schmidt Will “Finish Coaching” After 2019 World Cup As IRFU Announce Replacement

Darragh Berry

Joe Schmidt will finish coaching following the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year and will be replaced by Andy Farrell who will become head coach after the tournament.

In a statement on Monday morning, the Joe Schmidt said: “”I have decided to finish coaching and will prioritise family commitments after the RWC in 2019.

“I feel that Irish rugby is in good hands. The management and players have been incredible to work with and the tremendous support we have had, particularly at home in the Aviva, but where ever we have travelled has been uplifting.

“Thank you to the IRFU for their support and patience and thanks also to so many people who have adopted my family and me, making us feel part of the community here in Ireland.

“There are some inspiring challenges over the next 11 months so there’s plenty of motivation for me to continue working hard, alongside the other management staff, so that the team can be as competitive as possible.”

Joe was appointed Ireland head coach ahead of the 2013 Guinness Series and has overseen the most successful period in the national team’s history winning three Six Nations titles (2014, 2015) including a Grand Slam (2018), a first win on South African soil (2016), a first win over New Zealand (2016) and a series win in Australia (2018).

Joe has utilised 99 players and capped 54 new Ireland internationals over the 62 games that he has been in charge to date achieving a 74% win ratio. Ireland have also attained their highest ever world ranking (No.2) under his watch.

This comes after the news yesterday that Schmidt had been named World Rugby Coach of the Year for 2018 (an accolade that Peter O’Mahony picked up for him) and Ireland were named World Rugby Team of the Year.

Philip Browne, IRFU CEO, commented, “I would like to thank Joe, and his family, on behalf of the IRFU Union Committee, all the staff of Irish Rugby and every rugby supporter, for everything he has done for the game in Ireland.

“Joe has travelled to clubs throughout the country, assisted with our sponsor programme and attended a huge number of charity events, helping to raise vital funding for those who need it most.

“Sport has the ability to lift people out of the day-to-day concerns of life and Joe, and his team, have provided historic moments of great joy, that will live long in the memories of everyone in the rugby family.

“Of course, this is not yet the end, and we look forward an exciting and challenging 11 months for Irish Rugby during Joe’s final Six Nations and the Rugby World Cup in Japan.”

“On a personal level, I would like to thank Joe for his warmth, his time, honesty and his genuine interest in everything that we do in Irish Rugby to grow the game.”

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