Joe Schmidt will announce future plans early next week

‘I’ve beaten myself up enough over this decision. I’m probably going to be the most pleased of anyone when it’s finally made’

Joe Schmidt speaking at Carton House on Thursday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Joe Schmidt speaking at Carton House on Thursday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Joe Schmidt has confirmed that he will make a decision regarding his future beyond the next World Cup by early next week and in doing so gave the strongest indication yet that he will signal his intention to end his tenure in just under a year’s time.

The Ireland head coach’s contract with the IRFU expires at the end of next year’s World Cup in Japan, and having deliberated the matter at length with his family will stay true to his word that he would make a decision at the conclusion of the autumn internationals.

That said, Schmidt maintained: “It’s a decision that will probably not be finalised until Sunday.”

Speaking at Carton House after naming the side to play the USA on Saturday, Schmidt added: “It’s a decision that has been a long time coming. The family I have probably committed most to is this family I live with in Carton House as much as the family I have at home. We’ve put our heads together to try to reconcile how we can best cater for both.”

Asked when he expects his decision to be conveyed to the IRFU and thus become known publicly, Schmidt added: “Early next week. I’d like to be able to take a deep breath on Sunday and then . . . I know I can’t continue to just go backwards and forwards. I’ve beaten myself up enough over this decision. I’m probably going to be the most pleased of anyone when it’s finally made.”

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