Schmidt tipped to replace Eddie Jones
TRANSFER TALK: Former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is reportedly one of the leading candidates to take over the role as head coach of the Wallabies.
Schmidt was recently part of Ian Foster’s All Blacks coaching team that recorded an 11-12 defeat to the Springboks in the Final of the World Cup.
Since then Foster has been replaced by Scott Robertson as New Zealand head coach, while Schmidt has also vacated his role as assistant coach.
The New Zealander, who led Ireland at both the 2015 and 2019 global tournaments, is in high demand.
He has been linked to several roles after playing a vital part in New Zealand’s revival since he joined Foster’s backroom team in July 2022.
However, it seems like Schmidt is one of the favourites to land the Australia job according to reports.
Speaking on the Rugby Weekly Extra podcast, former Ireland performance analyst Eoin Toolan commended Schmidt’s influence on New Zealand’s World Cup run and suggested a joint appointment with departing Irish Rugby Football Union boss David Nucifora.
“I’ve got to say, I think the job Joe Schmidt did with New Zealand [was incredible]. I don’t think they’re making a World Cup final if Joe Schmidt doesn’t come in and bail out Ian Foster,” Toolan said.
“That [Schmidt as the Wallabies head coach] would be an intriguing appointment, particularly if it was in tandem with David Nucifora. We saw the positive impact they had on Irish rugby.”
Toolan said Nucifora, who is expected to leave the Irish Rugby Football Union in 2024, is an ideal option for Australian rugby.
However, he acknowledges the timing challenges, with Nucifora committed to Paris 2024 and the British and Irish Lions series approaching.
Along with Schmidt, Dan McKellar and Stephen Larkham, who have experience of being involved in the Australian coaching set-up, have all been touted as contenders for the job.
“There will be multiple candidates. Does Dan McKellar come back from Leicester or does he need some time out of the Australia game and start to build some experience in the northern hemisphere? That would probably be a good thing for the longevity of his career,” Toolan said.
“Stephen Larkham is the other name being bandied about down here. He had a pretty good first year back at the Brumbies and learned a lot from his time in Munster.
“So there’s no shortage of candidates. It’s still an attractive role given that it’s the 2025 Lions into a home World Cup in 2027 and the talent is there if they’re coached correctly. They probably need to tweak the Giteau Law [for players based abroad] and look at what they do with Super Rugby.”
It has been a very difficult period for the Wallabies.
For the first time in World Cup history, they ended their World Cup campaign at the pool stages.
The disastrous campaign saw Rugby Australia part ways with Eddie Jones and chairman Hamish McLennan.
Source: Rugby Weekly Extra & NZ Herald