Joe Schmidt has ruled himself out of contention for the All Blacks head coach job, but may consider coaching the British & Irish Lions in 2021.
The Ireland coach has confirmed he is totally committed to having at least a year off coaching to spend more time with his family. He therefore can’t be considered as a replacement for Steve Hansen, who will leave his position as All Blacks head coach after the 2019 World Cup.
‘That is certainly the short-term plan, to not be involved in coaching,’ Schmidt told The Independent at the launch of the 2019 Six Nations.
‘Certainly not for 12 months and I’d say quite likely longer than that. We have a couple of family-related projects that we want to work our way through. I don’t spend a lot of time at home already, so it’s probably high time I did.’
‘I wouldn’t be available if asked [to coach the Lions] at the moment. I said to my wife that we’d get these 12 months done, and she said she thought I’d last 12 days potentially without needing to do something.
‘I wouldn’t say that I’m looking to do any coaching, so it’s not at the front of my mind. One of the things I decided in a conversation with myself is that whatever does happen after that, I want to make sure these next 10 months are as good as I can help the players be, and to put as much effort into that. That’s where your energies go.’
Photo: Dave Hunt/EPA