On this day in 2013: Joe Schmidt appointed new Ireland head coach

Joe Schmidt was appointed as Ireland head coach on this day in 2013.

The New Zealander, who had guided Leinster to back-to-back Heineken Cup titles in 2011 and 2012, signed a three-year contract as he succeeded Declan Kidney.

Earlier in the month, Kidney had been relieved of his role after a poor Six Nations campaign, in which Ireland finished fifth – a worst championship performance since 1999.

Leinster’s Jonny Sexton and Fergus McFadden carry their coach Joe Schmidt (centre) as they celebrate on the pitch
Schmidt (centre) took charge of Ireland following a successful spell with Leinster (Julien Behal/PA)

Schmidt was set to officially begin work on July 1 with Les Kiss, Ireland’s attack coach under Kidney, overseeing the summer tour to the United States and Canada.

“When I came to Leinster in 2010 I didn’t really want to be a head coach, but I have really enjoyed the experience since,” Schmidt said.

“I am really motivated by the challenge and this is a super, but intimidating one. If you are going to find out what you can bring to a group, what better way than to take on one of the big jobs in world rugby.

“I have had a good look at a lot of Ireland’s players and, when we get our collective together, we will try to improve performance and make us as competitive as possible.”

Schmidt subsequently took charge of Ireland after Leinster had won both the Challenge Cup and PRO12. He remained in the job until the end of the 2019 World Cup campaign.

Under Schmidt’s guidance, Ireland claimed three Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam in 2018, and beat New Zealand in Chicago in 2016 – their first ever victory over the All Blacks – then again in Dublin two years later.

The last match of Schmidt’s tenure was a 46-14 quarter-final defeat to New Zealand at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.