Joe Schmidt is to leave World Rugby role to spend more time with family

Former Ireland coach is currently the director of rugby and high performance

Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is to leave his role with World Rugby at the end of the year. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt is to leave his role with World Rugby at the end of the year. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

 

Joe Schmidt will leave his role as World Rugby’s director of rugby and high performance at the end of this year.

World Rugby said that the 55-year-old former Ireland head coach had decided to spend more time with his family at home in New Zealand.

He will, though, remain a member of the governing body’s high performance rugby committee and laws review group.

World Rugby said: “With the global pandemic having restricted movement, and with significant opportunity for reflection, Schmidt has decided that he will continue to reside in New Zealand rather than relocate to Ireland (World Rugby’s base) in order to ensure the best possible work-life balance for him and his family.”

Schmidt, whose appointment was announced in October 2020, added: “World Rugby have a challenging task bringing together a vast array of stakeholders to grow and future proof the game, particularly with the pandemic creating further complications.

“I would like to thank the World Rugby staff for their support and positivity during the past 12 months.

“There is a real passion among them to help the game be all it can be for everyone involved, and I have enjoyed my time as part of the team, working in partnership with unions, regions and competitions.

“I am disappointed to be leaving World Rugby, but look forward to continuing an association with them through the high performance rugby committee and other key working groups.”

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