Rugby

IRFU CEO Waxes Lyrical About English Duo Ready To Step Up If Schmidt Leaves

IRFU CEO Waxes Lyrical About English Duo Ready To Step Up If Schmidt Leaves

Philip Browne, the CEO of the Irish Rugby Football Union, has made it perfectly clear that if Ireland's Joe Schmidt calls time on his tenure there are two able Englishmen waiting to fill the gap.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Browne identified Andy Farrell and Stuart Lancaster as being "more than capable" of picking up where Schmidt may soon leave off.

Amid much speculation regarding the New Zealander's future in the role, it is rumoured that the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan could be Schmidt's last hurrah in charge of a team he has managed to such great success.

Currently involved with the Irish coaching team Schmidt has assembled, the talents of Farrell have scarcely gone unnoticed. Elsewhere, after a disastrous 2015 Rugby World Cup in charge of England (a management team Farrell was also a part of), Lancaster has salvaged his reputation in some style with his work at the all-conquering Leinster.

Two coaches - even given how that particular tenure ended - who would be among the discussion to replace Eddie Jones, Browne assured the English media outlet that Ireland may well be doing all they can to keep their talents on this island.

"They're both hugely impressive individuals," Browne stated.

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"You only have to hear what the Leinster players say about Stuart. And what the Ireland players - and the Lions players - say about Andy.

"So whoever has either of them in their coaching set-up is very fortunate. We're very fortunate to have Andy in our national set-up at the moment."

Although Browne was quick to confirm that retaining the services of Schmidt beyond 2019 is the top priority of the IRFU, he believes both Lancaster and Farrell are "more than capable of stepping up."

See Also: New Zealand Journalist Takes Issue With Ireland Poaching Potential All-Blacks

Arthur James O'Dea

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