Confirmed: Joe Schmidt to leave Ireland role after Rugby World Cup

Andy Farrell will replace him after the tournament

BY Simon Maguire 07:48 Monday 26 November 2018, 7:48 26 Nov 2018

Joe Schmidt will leave his role as Ireland Head Coach after the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year.

The announcement was made by the IRFU on Monday morning with Andy Farrell stepping into the role after the showpiece event next summer. 

The Kiwi, who was named World Rugby's 'Coach of the Year' on Sunday in Monaco, has been instrumental in Ireland's success over the last five years - leading Ireland to three 6 Nations titles, including a Grand Slam earlier this year. 

Schmidt had promised he would make an announcement after the November internationals to allow a succession plan to be implemented after the showpiece event in Japan.

The affable New Zealander also made history beating his home nation twice in the last two years, finally ending Ireland's duck against the All Blacks with a 40-29 win in Chicago in 2016, before beating the world champions for the first time in Dublin earlier this month.

Commenting on his decision, Schmidt said: "The coaches have been fantastic to work with and Andy has made a big impact since coming into the group. His ability to lead and his understanding of the game will ensure that the group will continue to move forward."

Farrell added: "It is a privilege to be considered for such a prestigious role. I have learned a lot from Joe over the past few seasons and I will continue to learn from him over the next year as the coaching group and players focus on competing in two huge tournaments in 2019."

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