Andy Farrell to replace Joe Schmidt as Ireland head coach post 2019 World Cup

Joe Schmidt wants to prioritise family commitments
Joe Schmidt wants to prioritise family commitments

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has confirmed that he will step down from his role as head coach of the national side post 2019 World Cup.

Schmidt had stupendous success with Ireland side that saw them win 11 out of the 12 games this year including a Grand Slam in Six Nations, series win in Australia and an undefeated autumn international campaign that also saw them beat the All Blacks.

His success with the Irish side was acknowledged in the World Rugby Awards where he went on to win the coach of the year award while Ireland were named the team of the year.

There were news spreading that Schmidt will take over the coaching responsibility of New Zealand from Steve Hansen following the showpiece event in Japan next year but the 53-year-old has confirmed to end his coaching duties and pritotise his family commitments.

"I have decided to finish coaching and will prioritise family commitments after the Rugby World Cup in 2019," Schmidt told the official Irish Rugby Football Union website.

"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 wherever we have travelled has been uplifting."

During Schmidt's tenure that started in 2013, Ireland went on to win three Six Nations titles (2014, 2015 and Grand Slam 2018) while also beating New Zealand for the first time in Chicago in 2016 and followed it with another win over them during the recently concluded November series apart from a first win over Springboks in the South African soil and a maiden series win in Australia.

"Thank you to the IRFU for their support and patience and thanks also to so many people who have adopted my family and me, making us feel part of the community here in Ireland.

"There are some inspiring challenges over the next 11 months so there's plenty of motivation for me to continue working hard, alongside the other management staff, so that the team can be as competitive as possible."

Meanwhile the Irish board has also confirmed that defence coach Andy Farrell will step up as head coach of the side after Schmidt's departure.

"It is a privilege to be considered for such a prestigious role," Farrell said.

"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."


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