12 Nov 2016

Schmidt won't be a part of Lions

8:10 am on 12 November 2016

The Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt says he will not be joining Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions coaching staff.

Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt.

Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt. Photo: Photosport

The New Zealander says he did not want to join the coaching staff so he could spend time with Ireland's young players who won't tour with the invitational team.

"A big part of the motivation for me not being involved in the Lions was going to the USA and Japan and working with this next cadre of players," Schmidt said.

"The best of our players will go on the Lions and the more the better. That would be fantastic and hopefully a few more will put their hands up for Warren Gatland this weekend.

"But the ones that don't go, they will become a really interesting group for us. And for me, I want to make sure I get to know those guys.

"And getting away on tour is one of the best ways to do it."

The Lions tour New Zealand next June.

Schmidt's name had been linked with the Lions especially after Ireland beat the All Blacks last week.

Ireland play Canada this weekend.