Joe Schmidt set to leave role with World Rugby

Joe Schmidt World Rugby

Joe Schmidt has announced that he will be leaving his job as World Rugby’s Director of Rugby and High Performance at the end of the year.

Former Ireland head coach Schmidt first took up the newly-created role in World Rugby in October 2020, but will leave the organisation in order to spend more time in New Zealand with his family.

Schmidt will continue to work closely with the organisation as a member of the High Performance Rugby Committee and Laws Review Group, but will not return to Dublin, where World Rugby’s headquarters are based.

‘I am disappointed to be leaving.’

“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,” Schmidt said.

“I’d like to thank the World Rugby staff for their support and positivity during the past 12 months. There is a real passion amongst 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.

“We have worked very hard in a number of areas, including player welfare initiatives, remaining agile with fixture changes and match officials, law trials, competitions and the support of emerging nations where the Pacific Islands Super Rugby franchises are a good example of some excellent collaborative work.

“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.”

Joe Schmidt’s career in rugby so far.

Schmidt hasn’t taken charge of a team since his contract with Ireland finished up after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and has given no indication as of yet on whether he will return to coaching.

The New Zealander’s first professional coaching job was with Bay of Plenty in the National Provincial Championship as an assistant coach, before taking up an assistant role with the Blues in Super Rugby.

Schmidt then left New Zealand for France, where he was again an assistant coach with Clermont Auvergne in the Top 14, before landing his first head coach job with Leinster in 2010.

After three seasons and two Heineken Cup titles with Leinster, Schmidt took over as Ireland head coach, which he remained until 2019.

While Schmidt’s tenure as Ireland coach ultimately ended in disappointment at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, he did lead Ireland to three Six Nations titles and their first-ever wins against the All Blacks.

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