Joe Schmidt to replace Grant Fox as All Blacks Independent Selector

Joe Schmidt coached Ireland between 2013 and 2019
Joe Schmidt coached Ireland between 2013 and 2019

New Zealand Rugby has confirmed the appointment of former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt as an Independent Selector.

Schmidt will replace former All Black Grant Fox in the role after the latter is set to step down following next year’s Steinlager Series selection.

Schmidt started his coaching career as an assistant coach with Bay of Plenty, Blues and Clermont before taking in charge of Leinster in 2010. He became the head coach of Ireland in 2013 and guided them to three Six Nations titles (2014, 2015 and Grand Slam 2018).

The 56-year-old also guided Ireland to first ever win against New Zealand in Chicago in 2016 and again defeated the All Blacks two years later in the November series. He also helped Leinster to six finals and winning four trophies, including a PRO12 title, two European Cups and a Challenge Cup.

He took up the World Rugby role director of rugby and high performance in October 2020 and now is working part time with the Blues for next year’s Super Rugby Pacific competition.

“It’s humbling to be involved and I’m looking forward to learning more about the players and the All Blacks environment and helping out as best I can," he said.

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster is delighted to work with Schmidt and lauded Fox for his services after being a selector over a decade.

“Joe will bring a wealth of New Zealand and international experience into the role, so we are delighted to have him join us. He will work closely with me and ‘Plums’ on selections but his insights will be valuable in other areas as well, so we look forward to having him join us.

“Foxy has been huge for me personally and for the team as a whole and we were so grateful to have him involved for longer than expected. He says now is the time for him to fully focus on his family and business interests. We will farewell him closer to the time when he finishes up next year.”