‘In Schmidereens’, ‘a great of Irish rugby’ – Tributes paid as Schmidt’s exit confirmed

IT WAS THE news everyone expected, but didn’t want to hear.

The IRFU this morning confirmed that Joe Schmidt will leave his position as Ireland head coach after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

The end is near: Joe Schmidt. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

In charge of Ireland since 2013, the 53-year-old Kiwi led the side to a Grand Slam, two other Six Nations titles, their first two-ever wins over the All Blacks, a series victory Down Under, back-to-back November Test clean sweeps, and a first-ever win against the Springboks on South African soil.

Last night, he was crowned 2018 World Rugby Coach of the Year.

There’s no doubt he’s taken Irish rugby to incredible highs and will leave a long-lasting legacy behind him, but he’ll hope to finish on the highest of highs in 2019.

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For now though, some kind words as this morning’s news broke:

Tommy Bowe

Mike Ross