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IRFU are in discussions to extend Joe Schmidt's contract

RugbyBy Sean Nolan
Joe Schmidt's tenure in charge of Ireland has been a roaring success
Joe Schmidt's tenure in charge of Ireland has been a roaring success

The IRFU are trying to extend Irish rugby coach Joe Schmidt's contract all the way up to the 2019 World Cup.

The Kiwi, who has led Ireland to two succesive Six Nations titles, is surely one of the most coveted coaches in world rugby and with his current deal due to expire at the end of next season, the IRFU are already working on securing his services.

"We're in discussions with Joe," IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said yesterday, according to the Irish Independent. "He's just off the back of the Six Nations and he's been away and I'm sure those discussions will come to some sort of conclusion over the next couple of months.

"It will be what it will be, I'd like to have more to say about it and when we do we'll say it."

The big concern, for the IRFU and for Irish rugby fans, is that current All Black boss Steve Hansen has a contract that runs out in 2017 and the fear is that the New Zealand job would lure away the former Leinster coach.

Add in the mega-bucks that clubs in France, or perhaps even England, would offer to Schmidt and the IRFU are smart to try and tie their man down.

Only time will tell if they are succesful.