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Joe's new gig Schmidt appointed World Rugby director of rugby and high performance


Former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is looking forward to his new start

Former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is looking forward to his new start


Former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is looking forward to his new start

Joe Schmidt will take on his first role since stepping down as Ireland head coach, after the Kiwi was appointed World Rugby's director of rugby and high performance.

The 55-year old has not been short of job offers in recent months, and although he will not be directly involved in coaching, Schmidt believes the job will be a good fit.

The newly-created position, which will begin in November, will see Schmidt responsible for the high performance, match officials and technical services functions, including player welfare as well as training and education.

Since ending his six-year tenure in charge of Ireland following last year's difficult World Cup, Schmidt has remained in Dublin with his family and given that World Rugby's headquarters is based in the capital, he will not have to move.

Schmidt has already been involved in World Rugby’s game development innovations by participating in several working groups, including guidance on player load and the current breakdown working group, which have been beneficial to player welfare.

In the role, Schmidt will lead a new high performance department, as World Rugby looks to further engage coaches, players and match officials in the decision-making process, as it seeks to make the sport simpler, safer and more enjoyable.

“I'm really looking forward to getting started. I'm passionate about the game and keen that people continue to enjoy being involved in it, from the young to the young at heart,” Schmidt said.

"The professional game is the showpiece for our sport and involving key stakeholders in our discussions about how the game is played and how players are managed will be beneficial.

“It has been a challenging year thus far and likely to remain difficult for some time, but it has been great to see the resumption of numerous competitions, with plenty of entertaining and exciting matches.”

Schmidt will report to World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper, who commented:

“We are delighted to appoint a person of Joe’s calibre, expertise and global credibility to this newly-created and strategically important position within the organisation.

“As an international federation we must strive to continually increase our connection and collaboration with the most important stakeholders in our game – players, coaches, match officials, unions and, of course, fans.

“It is fantastic to have an individual who has been at the forefront of the high-performance game management evolution at the very highest level for well over a decade.

“With international rugby set to restart this weekend and less than a year to go until Rugby World Cup 2021 kicks off in New Zealand and rugby sevens showcases itself at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Joe joins us at a very exciting time for the sport, which continues to advance and grow rapidly across the globe.”

Online Editors