Rugby

Joe Schmidt Confirms Next Step In His Coaching Career

Joe Schmidt Confirms Next Step In His Coaching Career

Former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has returned to coaching after taking up a role with Auckland Super Rugby side the Blues. Schmidt will be returning to the first Super Rugby side he coached when becomes support coach of the Auckland side ahead of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season. He had been out of a coaching job since leaving his role with Ireland in 2019 after the World Cup.

Schmidt had taken a role as World Rugby’s director of rugby and high performance in October 2020. He left that role in September to spend more time with his family. However he has now returned to the Blues to mentor head coach Leon McDonald. He had worked with McDonald during the past year but now he has formally taken up a role. He will be working on a part-time basis with the Blues ahead of the 2022 season.

Joe Schmidt: back with the Blues

Joe Schmidt worked with the Blues as assistant coach from 2004-2007 before moving to Clermont Auvergne in the same role. Schmidt then took up the head coaching job at Leinster in 2010, replacing Michael Cheika. Arguably Ireland's greatest ever rugby coach, Schmidt went on to win two Heineken Cups with Leinster as well as one Pro 12 and European Challenge Cup triumph before taking over as Ireland coach.

Ireland won three Six Nations, including the Grand Slam in 2019 during his time in charge. He also coached Ireland to two memorable test wins over the All Blacks, becoming the first Ireland coach to beat them. He left the role on 2019 and returned to his native New Zealand in 2020, where he first began working with the Blues.

In a video posted to the club's Twitter account,  Joe Schmidt expressed his excitement to work with the Blues again.

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I've enjoyed doing a bit of work with Leon last year and I think this new season will be an opportunity to grow the team a little bit more, work with the coaches and hopefully we can make a very positive impression in Super Rugby Pacific.

It's brilliant to see a great coach like Joe Schmidt return to the game.

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