Joe Schmidt says news of Ireland job unlikely to emerge before weekend
Leinster coach says that decision on Declan Kidney’s successor will be ‘soon’
Leinster head coach Joe Schmidt: “When you’ve got a team like Biarritz coming to town, it’s not too much of a distraction because you’ve really got to keep your focus on what’s in front of you.”
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt is unlikely to hear from the IRFU before this weekend regarding the vacant Irish coaching job. Although Schmidt said in yesterday’s press briefing at UCD that he could “possibly” hear something by the weekend, no decision as to who replaces Declan Kidney is expected to be announced over the next three days.
“I’ve really tried to be really open and candid about that and there’s nothing further to add, really,” said Schmidt yesterday during Leinster’s build up to the Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final against Biarritz in the RDS.
“To be honest it’s not too distracting to me,” he added. “When you’ve got a team like Biarritz coming to town, it’s not too much of a distraction because you’ve really got to keep your focus on what’s in front of you.”
In a change from previous Irish coaching appointments, the IRFU invited former Irish captain and Lions hooker Keith Wood to be part of the interviewing panel, who spoke to the short list of candidates this week.
“I think it was a really good chat and it was a good opportunity to answer a few questions and ask a few questions,” said Schmidt, who expects the IRFU to deliver the news of their decision sooner rather than later.
Schmidt also received a ringing endorsement of his coaching ability on Tuesday from Leinster and Irish centre Brian O’Driscoll, who said he learned more from the Kiwi than any other coach he has had in the last 10 years.
“I know it will be soon,” he said of the coaching decision. “ because I’m under pressure here at Leinster as well and I think for everyone once there’s clarity, everyone can move forward, and I’m pretty keen to do that.”