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26th Nov 2018

Joe Schmidt to leave Ireland role next year, will be replaced by Andy Farrell

Patrick McCarry

Confirmation arrived from the IRFU this morning

Ireland have confirmed that Joe Schmidt will leave his post as head coach after next year’s World Cup.

Schmidt will be replaced by current defence coach, Andy Farrell, after Ireland’s involvement in Japan 2019 comes to an end.

Farrell has been with the Irish team since 2016 and is highly thought of by players and fans alike.

Schmidt arrived in Ireland in 2010 to take over as Leinster head coach from the departing Michael Cheika. He led the province to two European Cup victories in his first two seasons and also claimed the Guinness PRO12 and Challenge Cup during his tenure.

He took over from Declan Kidney after Ireland had endured a poor, injury-hit Six Nations campaign. In one of his first games in charge of the national team, he almost masterminded a first-ever win over New Zealand but was denied by a last-gasp, try by Ryan Crotty.

Under Schmidt, Ireland won the 2014 and 2015 Six Nations but they exited at the World Cup quarter-final stages in October 2015. Injuries to key players beset Ireland’s campaign and Schmidt vowed to strengthen Ireland’s depth chart.

2016 saw Ireland finish mid-table in the Six Nations, as new faces won caps and older heads bowed out, but there was a Test win away to South Africa. Ireland should have won that series too but they were building nicely into the autumn and they finally claimed that All Blacks scalp at Soldier Field in November 2016.

2017 saw them pipped by England to the Six Nations title but they at least stopped the champions from completing a Grand Slam in Dublin. That win started a streak that took in the 2017 Guinness Series and their 2018 Six Nations Grand Slam. Australia beat them in Brisbane but Ireland rebounded to win the next two Tests and claim a series win Down Under.

This November has seen Ireland win all four Test matches, most notably a fully deserved victory over the All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium.