Ireland coach Schmidt extends contract to 2017

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has signed a contract extension that will keep
him as Ireland Head Coach until the end of the 2017 season.

Schmidt has won back-to-back Six Nations Championship titles and a series victory
over Southern Hemisphere Argentina on tour.

Ireland were unbeaten during the 2014 Series which included victories over
South Africa and Australia.

Since Schmidt was appointed in 2013, 56 players, including 14 new caps, have
represented Ireland.

The team has achieved a 78% win ratio with 14 wins and 4 losses from the 18
Test matches played to date.

Ireland were ranked 8th in the World Rugby in October 2013 and are currently
ranked 3rd.

Announcing the extension of Joe Schmidt’s contract, IRFU Performance Director,
David Nucifora said, “We believe that Joe is one of the leading coaches
in world rugby so we are delighted that he has extended his contract and will
continue to work in Irish Rugby until the end of the 2016/17 season.

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 U20s and Women’s squads. ”

IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne, said,”Joe embodies the core values
of the IRFU in what he does and his commitment to the national team is mirrored
by his support of Rugby clubs and schools.

He is a tremendous ambassador for our game and will continue to be a vital
asset to Irish Rugby over the coming years.”

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt, commented, “I appreciate the support I
have had from the IRFU and look forward to the next two challenging years with
the National Team.

It has been great to be involved in such a player driven environment, along
with such a skilled and positive staff to support them in their quest to be
as competitive as possible.”

The New Zealander will remain in charge of the Ireland team until June 30,
2017 which gives both parties time to plan for the 2019 Rugby World cup in Japan.

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