Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will remain with the country until 2019, it has been confirmed today.
Schmidt oversaw back-to-back Six Nations titles in his first two seasons in charge, and guided Ireland to the quarter-finals of last year’s World Cup.
He has now committed to leading the country to the next tournament in Japan.
Continue reading below
Make sure to check the latest episode of our weekly rugby podcast, The Oval Office, where we pay tribute to the late Anthony Foley, talk all things European Champions Cup and catch up with Leo Cullen, Josh Van Der Flier and Rory Kockett.
Listen here on SoundCloud or subscribe on iTunes.
In a statement on the Irish Rugby website, Schmidt spoke of his delight at the new deal.
“I’d like to thank the IRFU for their patience and confidence as the decision to continue took somewhat longer than I’d anticipated.
“It is difficult at times being so far away from extended family but we appreciate how lucky we are to have the support we have here in Ireland.
“The strength of the rugby community has been incredibly visible over the past week and the enthusiasm of management and players to improve and compete is complemented by a really positive camaraderie.
“The wider community has made us welcome and as a family we have benefitted immensely from their support.
“Looking forward there are positive signs with the U20s finalists at the Junior World Championships this year, the provinces topping three of the five European Champions Cup pools as well as Ulster and Leinster sharing the lead of the PRO12 at present.
“With the Guinness Series about to begin, facing a dominant New Zealand team along with Canada and Australia is going to be a tremendous challenge.”
Heineken Rugby Club celebrates and rewards real supporters who make the game what it is.