Joe Schmidt appointed new head coach of Ireland

Schmidt succeeds Declan Kidney who was removed earlier this month

Ireland have appointed Joe Schmidt as their new head coach, the Irish Rugby Football Union have announced.

Schmidt succeeds Declan Kidney who was removed on April 2 after presiding over a dismal fifth-place finish in the RBS 6 Nations.

The New Zealander steps up from his position as Leinster head coach after beating competition from Les Kiss and Ewen McKenzie for the Ireland post.

The IRFU is to hold a press conference in Dublin this afternoon, where chief executive Philip Browne will discuss Schmidt's appointment.

Schmidt is thought to have been offered a three-year contract that runs until 2016 - a tenure that will include the 2015 World Cup hosted by England.

Only last year he had signed a new deal at Leinster securing his services until 2014, but the IRFU has decided to promote him to the top job in Irish rugby.

A highly impressive CV compiled over three years at the reigning European champions is topped by successive Heineken Cup crowns.

This season they are on target for a RaboDirect PRO12 and Amlin Challenge Cup double.

Kiss, Ireland's attack coach under Kidney, will lead the summer tour to the United States and Canada, so the autumn internationals against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand will be Schmidt's first matches in charge.

Kiss' ongoing involvement in the Ireland set-up is now in doubt, despite his presence on the tour to North America, while forwards coach Gert Smal and defensive mastermind Anthony Foley are unlikely to be retained.

Since Kidney was informed that the IRFU would not renew his contract, which was due to expire next month, ending his four and half year stewardship, Schmidt emerged as the front runner.

Jake White, Conor O'Shea and Mark McCall ruled themselves out of the running to replace Kidney, who steered Ireland to the 2009 Grand Slam but saw the team's fortunes subsequently nosedive.

One of the key areas for Schmidt to address will be the national side's chronic inconsistency that has seen their form fluctuate wildly.

He will continue the injury-enforced rebuilding program begun by Kidney last autumn, while convincing Brian O'Driscoll to play for another season may also be on the agenda.

PA

Suggested Topics
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence