Schmidt indicates preference for international management
Leinster coach expects to hear by the end of next week whether or not he will be the next Ireland coach
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt is the favourite for the Ireland job. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt has indicated his preference for international rugby at this stage of his life and expects to hear by the end of next week whether he will be installed by the IRFU as former Ireland boss Declan Kidney's successor.
The New Zealander told last night's Late Late Show the workload of an international coach would suit him better because he could spend more time supporting his wife in taking care of their nine-year-old son Luke, who has epilepsy.
After speaking with the IRFU about the vacancy this week, the two-time Heineken Cup winner said: “We had a really good chat. To be honest they know me pretty well and I know them pretty well."
Repsonding to host Ryan Tubridy's suggestion he 'wanted' the job, Schmidt said: "Well, yes, I think so," before joking: "We (he and the IRFU) probably know each other too well and neither of us are sure about it. But whoever gets the job, it’s a super job. It is certainly one of the big jobs in world rugby.
He added: “For me ... it’s a seven-day working week at the moment. With a national team, certainly when the team are in camp, it’s very, very busy but it would give me a little bit of flexible time and available time to help support Luke and certainly my wife in looking after him.”
Schmidt is the strong favourite for the job but is faces competition from incumbent attack coach Les Kiss, who will take charge of June's North American tour, and Queensland Reds boss Ewen McKenzie. The trio are likely to know their fate within six or seven days, according to the Kiwi.
“I think toward the end of next week," he repsonded when asked when he expected to hear back from the IRFU. "I know it won’t be long because for me I made a commitment to Leinster and I did say to them that I was fully committed to that and prepared to continue with that, but they have encouraged me to at least engage in the conversations and we’ll see what comes of it.”