The Joe Schmidt interview: ‘Hopefully I haven’t outstayed my welcome’

Irish coach speaks exclusively to Gerry Thornley on the joy and loneliness of his job

 Joe Schmidt during the captain’s run in Paris. Photgraph:  Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

Joe Schmidt during the captain’s run in Paris. Photgraph: Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

When Arsenal legend Tony Adams rang his former boss Arsène Wenger in October 2008 to inform him he was succeeding Harry Redknapp as Portsmouth manager, Wenger famously responded by saying: “Welcome to Hell.”

Joe Schmidt laughs aloud and gives a slight, knowing nod. In truth, of course, Schmidt confesses that, no less than Wenger, he loves coaching. Even so, the comment resonates with him. Coaching is an all-consuming job.

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