'It's a bit daunting': NZ Rugby confirm Schmidt's All Blacks role
NEWS: Joe Schmidt was named as an All Blacks selector Tuesday, but will not take up the role until after his former team Ireland tour New Zealand next year.
The New Zealander will replace Grant Fox on the All Blacks selection panel from August 2022, a month after Ireland’s three-Test tour.
Schmidt said “to a degree” the timing was because he did not want to be working against Ireland, a team he coached to three Six Nations championships and two wins over the All Blacks.
“I’m sure they appreciate the fact that I’m not that keen to get started until early August,” he said.
“It’ll give me a chance to sit back… we’ll have a lot of Irish visitors.”
Schmidt said the selection role suited him “because I’m a bit of an analyst geek as far as looking at players and how they play the game”.
The 56-year-old left his role as World Rugby’s director of rugby and high-performance earlier this year due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions and a desire to spend more time with his family.
He said his son, who has epilepsy, has settled back into New Zealand well, allowing him to increase his rugby commitments.
Welcome to the family, Joe Schmidt 🖤🇳🇿
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) December 13, 2021
In addition to the selection role, Schmidt will also work as a part-time assistant coach with Super Rugby’s Blues next year.
All Blacks coach Ian Foster said Schmidt’s years coaching in the Northern Hemisphere since 2007 with Clermont, Leinster and Ireland, gave him a different perspective to his New Zealand-based counterparts.
“It’s easy to see the success he’s had and what I also like is that he probably sees the game slightly different to me and it’s great to bring a fresh set of eyes,” he said.
Schmidt is hugely respected in New Zealand rugby circles and was approached about becoming an All Blacks assistant coach in 2017 but opted to remain with Ireland.
He said he was looking forward to stepping back from being a head coach as it would allow him to focus solely on player development with the All Blacks rather than “event management”.
“It’s incredibly exciting and a bit daunting to be absolutely honest, but that’s what high performance is all about,” he said.