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Schmidt hints at Ireland departure after World Cup

Joe Schmidt suggested that he will announce his departure as Ireland coach after the Rugby World Cup early next week.

The New Zealander’s contract expires after next year’s tournament in Japan and speculation has mounted that Schmidt will not renew.

Schmidt has been expected to return home and has been suggested as a possible successor to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, whose own deal runs out after the World Cup.

Addressing the media following Ireland’s 57-14 hammering of the United States, Schmidt said the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) is aware of his decision.

“I’ve given them [the IRFU] an indication and I just need to talk to people tomorrow, and early next week it will be made public,” he told a news conference.

“They have said ‘don’t be rash, if you change your mind we’d love to continue that conversation or if you change your mind we don’t need to have a conversation or if we just continue as we are, that’s great’.

“So, they’ve set out about five different scenarios just in case we can sort something out without too much drama.”

Schmidt also spoke of his gratitude to the IRFU for showing patience while he considered his next move.

“I’m just incredibly lucky to have the IRFU with the patience they have. I’ve committed to a certain time-frame with them and I’ve stuck to that.”

Under Schmidt, Ireland have won the Six Nations on three occasions including completing a famous Grand Slam earlier this year.

Ireland have also beaten the fearsome All Blacks twice under Schmidt’s stewardship, the last of which came in a 16-9 triumph in Dublin last weekend.

KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta

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