The IRFU are keen to keep Joe Schmidt and want him to extend his contract beyond the 2019 World Cup, however they state that they are confident of smooth succession if the New Zealander does opt to move elsewhere.
David Nucifora who is head performance director at the IRFU was asked the questions regarding Schmidt’s future Speaking to RTE Sports Michael Corcoran in Australia, Nucifora said ” It’s a personal decision for Joe with what he wants to do, we maintained his services the last time to bring him through this World Cup”.
Nucifora went on to say ”We would definitely like him to stay, we have been able to put in place a world class coaching team around Joe until the end of the 2020 season. He went on to say further that if Schmidt does opt to leave Ireland that they have a plan in place. He said ” If Joe does decides to move at least we are in position to ensure continuity will be maintained with the other coaches that are involved”.
Nucifora wouldn’t be drawn on the lent of time on when a decision will be made when Joe decides what he wants to do. He added ”We don’t have a deadline as such but Joe and I communicate regularly enough to understand there is a time where both of us will want to make a decision for the good of him personally and the IRFU”. He said that this will probably happen sometime before the World Cup in 2019.
Schmidt has a superb record as Ireland coach. He has won three Six Nations titles in 2014, 2015 and 2018, as well winning the Grand Slam and Triple Crown in 2018. It would be at Ireland’s best interests to keep New Zealander at the helm as I feel he bring the team on even further and develop young players coming through.