Search icon


23rd Oct 2018

IRFU give rough timeline on Joe Schmidt’s contract situation

Jack O'Toole

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne has said that the union will have a better understanding of Joe Schmidt’s future at end of next month’s Autumn internationals.

Schmidt’s current contract with the union runs until after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and New Zealand Rugby chief Steve Tew has highlighted the Ireland head coach as a potential replacement for outgoing All Blacks boss Steve Hansen.

The New Zealand coach will step down after the Rugby World Cup and Browne has said that he would like to get a clearer picture of Schmidt’s future by the end of the year.

“I think Joe has said that he’ll have a better idea of where he’s at after the Autumn internationals so I’d imagine by the end of the year we’d be in a position where we know what his plans are,” said Browne at the launch of the IRFU’s Strategic Plan.

“When we know what his plans are that at least gives us an opportunity to get on with our plans. He’s done a fantastic job and it’s not just about Joe, it’s about the people that he’s gathered around him.

“As a collective, both in terms of the team management and in terms of their interaction with the high performance department and their interaction with the provinces, and the quality of coaching, and the personnel that are in the provinces, it is a collective.

“At times people, certainly outside of Irish Rugby, don’t necessarily understand that but it is a collective and Joe is an important part of that collective and he’s done a fantastic job but at the end of the day David [Nucifora, IRFU high performance director] is having conversations with Joe but Joe will make up his mind and I would imagine the timeframe will be once the Autumn internationals are under the belt.”

Schmidt said during the summer that he intends to look at his future after the Autumn internationals and that he will likely make a decision on his future around Christmas.

“I am off the hook there. That is a long way away,” he said.

“Some of that stuff will probably (be decided) by the end of this year I’d say; there will be some clear direction there because for the entire following year I am still in situ, unless I get sacked. You just never take anything for granted!

“You can be flavour of the week, one week, and then things can turn around very quickly. I take nothing for granted but I have been lucky enough to do the job for as long as I have, and I have really enjoyed the people I have worked with.

“I would say I will try and get through the November series. That is a really nice group of games and then following that, one of the few times of the year our family manages to get together is Christmas and we will make a decision after that.

“I would want my family to be happy. I think that has got to be a priority for anyone in a job.

“My family obviously extends beyond my immediate family and there is some lingering doubt about being so far away, but I tend to be able to get back once a year and that is a pretty precious time.”

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?