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Rugby World Cup: Ireland's Joe Schmidt to turn down €2m England approach

Joe Schmidt appears unlikely to be tempted by any attempts to lure him across the Irish Sea despite reports in France that English officials will offer the IRFU more than €2m to buy out the head coach's contract.

The former Leinster supremo's current deal runs until 2017 and the union expect him to see that out.

While the union do not comment on speculation, it is understood that the reports that he is being targeted as a replacement for Stuart Lancaster are not being taken seriously and that there has been no formal approach.

It seems somewhat premature given the English union only yesterday began their review process into what went wrong as they exited their home World Cup.

The investigation will be led by RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie, Professional Game Board chairman Ian Metcalfe, former players Ben Kay and Ian Watmore and ex-Lions and Scotland coach Ian McGeechan.

Schmidt was asked about the initial reports before Sunday's quarter-final defeat to Argentina and denied he was interested in Lancaster's job.

Ireland will begin their own review into the tournament in the coming weeks, with performance director David Nucifora likely to take the lead in the investigation into what led to yet another quarter-final exit.

After the 2007 and 2011 exits, the IRFU produced their 'Plan Ireland' document which led to Nucifora's appointment and the express intention of "improved results in the 2015 and 2019 World Cups".

The players landed in Dublin yesterday and will return to their provinces over the course of the next week. The extended squad members who didn't feature against Argentina are likely to see Pro12 action this weekend. Those who started against the Pumas are to be given this week off.

Leinster will assess the condition of Johnny Sexton's groin strain, while Tommy Bowe is set to be out for a number of months after returning home in a knee brace.

Schmidt could have to do without Peter O'Mahony for the Six Nations as he goes for surgery on his cruciate knee ligament injury in the next few weeks. Munster have not put a timeline on his return.

Irish Independent

Irish Independent


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