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Irish rugby coach Joe Schmidt holds on for win before dash to hospital

By Colin O'Carroll

Ireland rugby head coach Joe Schmidt was rushed to hospital straight after Ireland's battling 26-23 victory over Australia in Dublin.

He immediately underwent medical tests for suspected appendicitis after the match on Saturday.

The rugby boss kept quiet about being ill so he could stay at the match to guide Ireland to their first autumn Test series clean sweep since 2006.

Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) officials confirmed after the match that Schmidt had required medical attention after feeling unwell all day.

The former teacher underwent surgery on Saturday night at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin and is now recuperating, the IRFU confirmed yesterday.

"Following yesterday's game against Australia, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was assessed by the match-day doctors and was sent to St Vincent's Hospital for further assessment," an IRFU statement said.

"On Saturday night Joe had his appendix removed and is recovering well this morning.

"Joe would like to thank the doctors and nurses of St Vincent's Hospital and everyone for their well wishes and kind messages."

Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss said boss Schmidt "toughed out the day" in typically understated fashion.

"He's just going to be assessed; he's had some pretty bad stomach pains through the day," Kiss said.

"He toughed out the day in true Joe style, but will now just undergo further tests."

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell said no one would have realised Schmidt was battling illness.

"Guys were aware he was sick, he was kind of stand-offish, he was worried about passing on anything he had," O'Connell said.

"If you hadn't have been told, I don't think anyone would have known."

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