Rugby

Eddie O'Sullivan Calls Joe Schmidt's Bluff On Talk Of 'Retirement'

Eddie O'Sullivan Calls Joe Schmidt's Bluff On Talk Of 'Retirement'

As he confirmed his decision this morning to step away from his role within the Irish set-up, Joe Schmidt appeared to signal that it would not only be Ireland he was leaving behind, but coaching altogether.

"I have decided to finish coaching and will prioritise family commitments after the Rugby World Cup in 2019," said Schmidt.

Having been heavily touted as Steve Hansen's replacement in his native New Zealand, Schmidt's statement appeared to indicate that no such plan would now come to fruition.

Speaking on Against the Head tonight, former Irish head coach Eddie O'Sullivan isn't necessarily convinced, however.

"He'll probably take a year out," O'Sullivan believes.

"I think it's smart not to make any statement around that because if he says he's going to go back coach, there'll be speculation.

"I've no doubt he'll be back in the game. He's a coach by nature, and you don't walk away that easily from it."

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Former Irish international Fiona Coghlan was similarly sceptical regarding Schmidt's apparent intention to walk away.

"I think it's in his blood, he won't be away for very long," Coghlan reckoned.

"He obviously wants to spend time with the family, and that's fair enough after what he's committed over the last number of years.

"But I don't think he'll be away too long at all."

Of course, the language used by Joe Schmidt in his parting statement is open to interpretation. One way or another, we are unlikely to know for some time yet whether or not the Irish head coach plans on taking his talents elsewhere in the coming years.

See Also: 'Letting Andy Farrell Go One Of The More Generous Anglo-Irish Gifts On Record'

Arthur James O'Dea

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