Andy Farrell will take over as Ireland’s head coach following the 2019 World Cup, with Joe Schmidt confirming he will ‘finish coaching to prioritise family commitments’.
Schmidt was appointed Ireland head coach in 2013, and has overseen the most successful period in the national team’s history, winning three Six Nations titles (2014, 2015 and 2018), a first win on South African soil (2016), a first win over New Zealand (2016) and a series win in Australia (2018).
Although there has been some speculation that the New Zealand-born Schmidt may pursue a coaching role with the All Blacks, he confirmed on Monday that this would not be the case.
‘I have decided to finish coaching and will prioritise family commitments after the World Cup in 2019. I feel that Irish rugby is in good hands. The management and players have been incredible to work with and the tremendous support we have had, particularly at home, but wherever we have travelled, has been uplifting.’
Farrell will be elevated to a role as head coach after joining the Ireland coaching group in 2016.
‘It is a privilege to be considered for such a prestigious role,’ he said. ‘I have learned a lot from Joe over the past few seasons and I will continue to learn from him over the next year as the coaching group and players focus on competing in two huge tournaments in 2019.’
Photo: Dave Hunt/EPA