The IRFU announced the appointment of Joe Schmidt as Ireland head coach yesterday. Joe will join the IRFU on July 1 on a contract that will see him lead Ireland until after the 2016 RBS 6 Nations Championship.
To facilitate Joe Schmidt in completing the season with Leinster and affording him time to select his Ireland management team, Ireland’s forthcoming summer tour of the USA and Canada will be lead by interim head coach Les Kiss, as planned.
A squad announcement in relation to this tour will be made after the Lions squad for their tour of Australia is confirmed.
Announcing the appointment of Schmidt, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne, said:
The IRFU is delighted to announce Joe Schmidt as Ireland head coach following a process which, in the best interests of Irish rugby, allowed us to examine a variety of options and ultimately ensure we secured a world class coach and undoubtedly the ideal person for the position.
Joe has already delivered significant success to Irish rugby during his time with Leinster and we are confident that this will continue at international level.
We thank all of those who were involved in this appointment, particularly our colleagues in Leinster, for allowing us the time and space to meet with and ultimately appoint Joe as Ireland’s new head coach.
It’s an honour to be selected as Ireland head coach. I’m very conscious of the responsibilities that go with the position and look forward to working alongside the players in an effort to meet those responsibilities through the quality of our performance.
I certainly appreciate the prompt and professional handling of the selection process by the IRFU, especially with regard to my current coaching commitment in Leinster, which I will continue to prioritise over the coming weeks.
On the face of it the appointment of Schmidt appears to be the right move by the IRFU though we will have to wait and see what sort of backroom staff he is allowed to bring in, and what sort of support he will get after what, in all probability, will be a difficult transition period for Ireland!
It does give, seemingly, discarded players like Trimble, Tuohy, Court etc. another chance to impress.