23 Jul 2015

Schmidt staying with Ireland until 2017

7:33 am on 23 July 2015

Joe Schmidt will remain as Ireland rugby coach until at least June 2017 after signing a one-year contract extension.

The Ireland rugby coach, New Zealander Joe Schmidt.

The Ireland rugby coach, New Zealander Joe Schmidt. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Irish RFU were keen to retain the services of the 49-year-old New Zealander after back-to-back Six Nations Championship wins.

Ireland would probably have preferred to tie Schmidt into a longer deal, knowing his record with Leinster and Ireland makes him a man in demand.

The IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora, says they believe Joe is one of the leading coaches so they're delighted.

He says outside of his national team duties, Joe has contributed to the development of indigenous coaches across the provincial and underage structures, as well as having a positive input into the Ireland Under-20 and women's squads.

Schmidt guided Leinster to two Heineken Cup triumphs, two Pro12 titles and a European Challenge Cup success during his three seasons with the province.

After taking over from Declan Kidney in the summer of 2013, he led Ireland to the Six Nations Championship during his first 12 months in charge and his team retained that title in 2015 following a successful autumn campaign which included wins over South Africa and Australia.

Overall, Ireland have won 16 of the 20 Tests they have played under Schmidt and are third in the rugby world rankings.