Schmidt eyeing series win as preparations for World Cup continue

Schmidt aiming to balance squad building with Australia win

Joe Schmidt is determined to clinch Ireland’s first three-Test series win in the southern hemisphere whilst experimenting with his squad as preparations for the 2019 World Cup continue.

Ireland have made five changes for Saturday’s crucial final Test against Australia in Sydney after their 26-21 win last weekend.

"You try to get it as perfect as you can," Schmidt said.

"Balancing that opportunity for players with that massive responsibility to try and win a series."

The current Six Nations champions have not beaten Australia in a series for 39 years, but they now have a golden opportunity against the Wallabies this weekend.

After coming close to beating South Africa away from home in a three-Test series two years ago, it would be a superb achievement for Ireland to beat Australia at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday, but Schmidt certainly has one eye on next year’s World Cup in Japan.

Also, in the New Zealander’s thoughts will be his own future after the 2019 World Cup.

Schmidt has guided Ireland to No.2 in the world rankings and has admitted that he will decide at the end of 2018 what his next move will be.

He said: "By the end of this year I would say there will be some fair direction there because for the entire following year I'm still in situ, unless I get sacked.

"You can be flavour of the month one week, and things can turn around very quickly, so I take nothing for granted."

Schmidt was also quick to praise his coaching staff for Ireland’s recent achievements, but also added that his decision will be made after conversations with his family.

He continued: "One of the few times of the year our family manage to get together is Christmas and we'll make our decision after that I'd say.”


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