Former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is set to join the All Blacks set-up as a selector, replacing the outgoing Grant Fox.
According to New Zealand publication Stuff, Schmidt’s appointment will be officially announced in the coming days, after a disappointing end to the year for the All Blacks.
Fox has been on the All Blacks’ selection panel since 2011 and had indicated that he was going to step away from the role after the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Head coach Ian Foster had convinced him to stay, but it appears that his time with the team is now over.
Joe Schmidt is set to work with the All Blacks and the Blues.
Schmidt has not been involved in coaching since Ireland’s exit at the 2019 World Cup, although he has been working as World Rugby’s director of rugby and high performance since then.
The former Leinster and Ireland coach announced that he was leaving his position with World Rugby in September, and soon after was named as a part-time support coach for the Blues for the upcoming Super Rugby season.
It is not yet clear whether Schmidt’s position with the Blues will be impacted by his new role with the national team, although he will likely be able to do both jobs, as the Super Rugby season ends before the All Blacks’ first game of the season.
Some nice looking stats in 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣1️⃣ pic.twitter.com/5UQyy3HrfU
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) November 28, 2021
Changes are being made behind the scenes after a disappointing month.
The All Blacks won’t have been pleased with how their season ended, as they suffered back-to-back losses to Ireland and France in the Autumn Nations Series.
Head coach Foster has come under plenty of criticism for his side’s recent performances, although as he signed a new two-year contract with the All Blacks back in August, he is unlikely to be relieved of his duties.
The appointment of Schmidt indicated that the higher-ups in New Zealand Rugby believe that some change is needed, as the All Blacks look to reclaim the title of being the world’s best team next year.