RTE panel think Joe Schmidt is leaving after post-match interview
Former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan and former Ireland flanker Stephen Ferris both believe Joe Schmidt will leave Ireland after next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Ireland throttled the USA 57-14 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday but the match has largely been overshadowed by news concerning Schmidt's future.
The New Zealander has been heavily linked with a return home to coach the All Blacks with New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen also set to make a decision on his own future within the coming days.
Schmidt told RTE Sport after the game that he would make his decision known to the public on Monday but Ferris is convinced that his days as Ireland head coach are numbered based on how he handled his post-match interview.
"Contenders, what does that tangibly mean?" - Joe Schmidt talks World Cup hopes and says he'll make a decision on his future on Monday pic.twitter.com/9rdmc0yarE
— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) November 24, 2018
"He was talking about the World Cup and Joe lit up and was very excited but when talking about whether he was going to stay or whether he was going to go; there was a bit of a depressed look on his face, which would suggest to me that he knows deep down that he's going to be going because that's how it came across on camera," said Ferris.
"If he comes out on Monday and says he's staying well then he should take up Poker for a living."
Meanwhile Eddie O'Sullivan said that a switch to the All Blacks could be a smart move for Schmidt given the fact that there's not a lot left for him to achieve here outside of the Rugby World Cup.
"He's made the decision I think," said O'Sullivan.
"He just hasn't given it away, but I think he has given it away from what Stephen is saying, but if you think of it logically he's had a fantastic run. He's done everything here. The World Cup is the focus.
"Now let's say we shoot the lights out at the World Cup, which we could well do, what's to do after that? It's almost like a good step for him in his career as a coach. If he stays here he's got to start grinding again next year.
"On that basis I think it looks like for him that it could be a smart move to go back to New Zealand, if that's where his heart and family are. He has already said it is so I'm just reading the signs like that."