New Zealand shock at Schmidt quit 'bombshell' as All Blacks set to look elsewhere
The news that Joe Schmidt is leaving the Ireland head coach job will be greeted with disappointment here, but the revelation that he will 'finish coaching' has created shockwaves in his native New Zealand.
The 53-year-old has been touted as a possible replacement for Steve Hansen when he steps away from the All Blacks job. Hansen will make an announcement on his future in the coming weeks.
All Blacks assistant boss Ian Foster now looks a certainty to take over the New Zealand hotseat if Hansen vacates it.
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A headline in the New Zealand Herald this morning read, 'All Blacks bombshell - Ireland coach Joe Schmidt makes shock announcement'.
The article read: "Joe Schmidt will not be putting his name in the ring as the next All Blacks head coach.
"In a shock announcement, Schmidt has revealed that he will finish coaching following the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.
"While many expected him to step down as Ireland head coach, his decision to apparently step away from coaching altogether was a major surprise, with many having pegged Schmidt as the next All Blacks coach.
"The Kiwi-born coach had just last week led Ireland to a 16-9 victory over the All Blacks, and if All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was to step away after the World Cup, Schmidt was widely tipped as the favourite to take over."
Stuff.co.nz went with the headline, 'Joe Schmidt to quit coaching after Rugby World Cup'.
"Just hours after being named as World Rugby's top coach, the New Zealander appears to have ruled out any chance of him coaching the All Blacks."
Belfast Telegraph Digital