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Don't go Joe: Rory's plea to Ireland coach

By Jonathan Bradley

Ireland captain Rory Best has said it would be a big blow for the side to lose their head coach Joe Schmidt next summer.

Schmidt's deal with the IRFU runs out in June of 2017 and, while the union would like to keep him until the World Cup two years later, the Kiwi has said he will consider his future after taking Ireland to South Africa for three Tests in June.

Ahead of facing Scotland in the final round of the Six Nations this evening at the Aviva Stadium (5pm), Best, who was made captain by Schmidt (right) after the retirement of Paul O'Connell, says that the coaching team are one of the best he has ever worked with.

"Absolutely, from a player's point of view," Best said when asked if he'd like to keep working with the former Leinster supremo who led the side to back-to-back titles before this year's disappointing championship. "This coaching staff is one of the best I've ever worked with. It'd be great to keep it together and pushing forward.

"I know we're going for third tomorrow, but two titles in three years is not bad going. We wanted to make it three in a row and that shows that we've been pushing on." England travel to France today hoping to wrap up the Grand Slam title (8pm).

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