Following World Rugby’s award ceremony that saw Joe Schmidt claim the World Rugby coach of the year award the Ireland boss has today announced he will step down as head coach after next year’s World Cup in Japan. Andy Farrell will be taking over the mantle.
Schmidt prioritises family post 2019
Schmidt joined up with Ireland after the 2013 Six Nations and has since gone on to master 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).
Talking about his decision to move on he 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.”
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) 26 November 2018
Ireland ready to kick on and be the best
Following a strong autumn campaign that saw yet another victory over the All Blacks, Ireland rose to second in the world rankings. With two major tournaments ahead a Grand Slam in the Six Nations would see them overtake New Zealand heading into the World Cup.
Playing with no fear and with such depth that it doesn’t really matter who starts they’ll be pushing to help Schmidt leave his post on a high. Possessing the player of the year – Jonny Sexton – Ireland will have leaders on and off the field to attempt to bring home their first World Cup.
Farrell ready for the challenge
Commenting on his new position Farrell said, “It is a privilege to be considered for such a prestigious role. I have learned a lot from Joe over the past few seasons and I will continue to learn from him over the next year as the coaching group and players focus on competing in two huge tournaments in 2019.”