Joe Schmidt honoured at Guinne...
Rugby

Joe Schmidt honoured at Guinness Rugby Writers Awards

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

07:00 7 Aug 2019

Joe Schmidt was honoured by the Rugby Writers of Ireland at the annual Guinness Rugby Writers Awards on Wednesday evening.

The Ireland head coach received the prestigious Tom Rooney award in recognition of his immense contribution to Irish Rugby.

Schmidt is currently in New Zealand but before departing and on receiving the award, he was keen to highlight the contribution from everyone he has worked with on these shores.

"The management and players at both Leinster and Ireland have been incredible to work with," said Schmidt.

"I accept this award on all of their behalf and will be forever grateful to all of them for the privilege of working alongside them.

"It is a real honour to receive the Tom Rooney Award. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Ireland. My family and I feel that we have been made to feel part of the community here, right from the outset.

"We are not sure where we will be or what we’ll be doing next but I’m really looking forward to the exciting challenge that lies ahead in the upcoming Guinness Summer Series in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup in Japan."

Schmidt has made a huge impact in the nine seasons he has been coaching in Ireland since he was first appointed to the Leinster head coaching role in the summer of 2010.

During his tenure with the province, Leinster were crowned European champions in 2011 and 2012 and the Kiwi also led them to a Challenge Cup and Guinness PRO12 double in his final season in 2013.

Ireland achieved unprecedented success under Joe Schmidt

The New Zealander took up the reins with Ireland in 2013.

Over the course of the next six years, Ireland enjoyed unprecedented success, claiming three Guinness Six Nations Championship titles including a 2018 Grand Slam.

Under Schmidt's guidance, Ireland claimed first series wins in Argentina (2014) and Australia (2018), a first victory on South African soil in June 2016 and victory against the All Blacks in Chicago in November of that year.

Twelve months later, his team made further history recording a first home victory against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium.

In November 2018 he became only the second Irish coach to be named World Rugby Coach of the Year.

Rory Sheridan, Head of Partnerships for Diageo Europe, said; "We are very proud to see Joe Schmidt’s immense contribution to Irish Rugby recognised with the awarding of the prestigious Tom Rooney award.

"He and the Irish men’s team have very challenging but exciting months ahead. We want to wish him and the team all the very best in the upcoming Guinness Series and the Rugby World Cup in Japan."

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