Joe Schmidt to stay on as Ireland coach until the 2019 World Cup
The IRFU have confirmed that Joe Schmidt will remain as coach of the Irish rugby team until the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.
Schmidt has been in charge of the national side since November 2013 and oversaw back to back Six Nations Championships in 2014 and 2015, as well as Ireland’s first ever Test series victory in the southern hemisphere (Argentina, 2014) and a first ever victory on South African soil earlier this summer.
On Monday, the IRFU confirmed that New Zealand native Schmidt will continue in the job for the next three years, right up until the next Rugby World Cup, in Japan in 2019.
Commenting on the news, Schmidt said: "I'd like to thank the IRFU for their patience and confidence as the decision to continue took somewhat longer than I'd anticipated.
“It is difficult at times being so far away from extended family but we appreciate how lucky we are to have the support we have here in Ireland.
“The strength of the rugby community has been incredibly visible over the past week and the enthusiasm of management and players to improve and compete is complemented by a really positive camaraderie.
“The wider community has made us welcome and as a family we have benefitted immensely from their support.
“Looking forward there are positive signs with the U20s finalists at the Junior World Championships this year, the provinces topping three of the five European Champions Cup pools as well as Ulster and Leinster sharing the lead of the PRO12 at present.
“With the Guinness Series about to begin, facing a dominant New Zealand team along with Canada and Australia is going to be a tremendous challenge.”