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New Zealand Media Are Pushing To Bring Joe Schmidt Back Home

New Zealand Media Are Pushing To Bring Joe Schmidt Back Home
By Conor O'Leary Updated

Just one day after IRFU's performance director David Nucifora reiterated that negotiations are ongoing with Joe Schmidt over a contract extension, media in New Zealand are speculating that Schmidt could return to his home country.

A New Zealand herald article listed Joe Schmidt as one of several contenders to take over from Sir John Kirwan as head coach of the struggling New Zealand Super Rugby franchise the Auckland Blues. The report isn't based on a quote, merely looking at possibles. But it's enlightening to see how their media views the situation.

Schmidt's rugby education began in Auckland, having started his head coaching career in charge of the Bay of Plenty before joining the Blues as an assistant coach. While Schmidt would probably want to return to his former franchise, his current contract means that Schmidt is highly unlikely to take over at the Blues before 2016.

Aside from the New Zealand assumption that the chance of being a head coach for one of their Super Rugby teams is a more desirable coaching job than one of the top international head coaching jobs in the world, here is what the New Zealand Herald had to say about Schmidt:

A new age rugby character and the outstanding candidate as head coach. Has turned Ireland into the kings of Europe and the great Brian O'Driscoll is among his devoted fans. A gem who passed through the Blues as Peter Sloane and David Nucifora's assistant without the franchise noticing anything special, a familiar story.

It's intriguing to note that they do admit that they made a mistake of not realising Schmidt's coaching potential, but it could also be argued that they are quite dismissive of Ireland as a team:

Did his time as an assistant to Vern Cotter at Bay of Plenty but attracted little fanfare - and boy were we wrong. Winning rave reviews for results, attention to detail and strategic knack with Ireland, who came close to a first win over the All Blacks under their Kiwi coach. If there is a worry, it is Ireland's limited style, but this is generally regarded as Schmidt cutting a coat to fit the cloth.

There's something about reading an article from the New Zealand Herald that makes you want Ireland to beat the All Blacks that much more.

Other contenders included on the list are current Chiefs head coach Wayne Smith, former Australian head coach Robbie Deans and current Scotland coach Vern Cotter. Each of which are all quite unlikely to make the move for various reasons:

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See Also: One Former Joe Schmidt Player Thinks His Long Term Future Is Not With Ireland
See Also: The Southern Hemisphere Rugby Media Are Really Taking Notice Of Ireland Now
See Also: New Zealand Journalist Is All For Joe Schmidt But A Lot Less Keen On His Team

Photo Credit Matt Browne/Sportsfile

[NZ Herald]

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