Joe Schmidt is on the move this weekend. He's travelled to Brescia today for the final game of the Ireland U20's disappointing World Rugby U20 Championship against Scotland today, before travelling on to see the Emerging Ireland side claim victory in the Tbilisi Cup against Georgia.
It's nice of Schmidt to take interest in all aspects of Irish rugby, and while there are players like Stuart McCloskey, James Cronin or Rob Herring who might be close to being in the extended World Cup squad, Emerging Ireland head coach Allen Clarke lead slip that it might be more than that.
In his press conference yesterday (via the Irish Independent), Clarke was grateful to Schmidt for the help he has given the squad, from taking sessions in Malahide before they left for Georgia, or influencing selection.
Then Clarke revealed what Schmidt will be looking for:
Joe is obviously looking at players who, in the short-term, could play themselves into the World Cup, but also at a few who could be prospects for the next World Cup.
Perhaps Schmidt really is the nice guy that he appears to be and is interested in leaving behind a good squad of future players when he leaves, but most coaches are selfish and only think about the immediate future.
We know that the IRFU are currently negotiating with Schmidt to extend his contract, and his interest in players up to the 2019 World Cup is very interesting, and gives us hope that he will avoid the calls for him to become All Blacks or Lions head coach.