Ireland captain Rory Best wants coach Joe Schmidt to commit his long-term future to the team. New Zealander Schmidt has been in charge of Ireland since 2013 and has led his adopted country to three triumphs in the Six Nations, including this year’s Grand Slam success.
However, the 53-year-old’s current contract is due to expire after next year’s World Cup in Japan and he is yet to make a decision as to whether he will sign a new deal, although he plans to make that call before the end of the year.
Schmidt has been linked with succeeding Steve Hansen as head coach of New Zealand, but Best is desperate for the former Leinster coach to extend his stay with Ireland. “From a player’s and fan’s point of view, you want to see the best coaches staying and he’s the best coach I’ve ever worked with,” said Best.
“Joe has changed Irish rugby and how we perceive performance and preparation. “I think that what Joe has done for Irish rugby, not just for the national team but Leinster, is evident. It’s plain to see in the silverware and that speaks for itself.”
For the time being Ireland’s focus is on the ongoing Autumn Internationals, as they are due to face Argentina at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
Ireland thrashed Italy 54-7 in Chicago last week and they are also due to face New Zealand and the United States over the coming weeks.