Former All Blacks assistant coach Joe Schmidt is set to be announced as the next Wallabies head coach.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports the former Ireland coach is set to be named officially as Eddie Jones’ replacement by Rugby Australia is expected in the coming days.
Expressions of interest for the Wallabies coaching position closed last Friday, and Schmidt has been a top choice for Rugby Australia for some time. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the finalisation of paperwork is the only step remaining before Schmidt’s appointment is confirmed.
Schmidt, 58, previously coached Ireland from 2013 to 2019, playing a crucial role in elevating the national team to the top spot in the world rankings. Under Schmidt’s guidance, Ireland secured three Six Nations titles and achieved historic victories against the All Blacks, including a notable triumph in 2016, breaking a 111-year drought.
Despite a disappointing 46-14 loss to New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup quarter-finals, Schmidt’s coaching prowess has garnered attention. He recently served as an assistant coach with the All Blacks during the World Cup in France, where New Zealand finished as runners-up to South Africa.
Eddie Jones, who had initially signed a five-year deal in 2023, resigned in October after a challenging period for the Wallabies. The team won only two of their nine tests last year and failed to advance to the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time. The appointment of Peter Horne as the new director of high performance and the advisory role for former Ireland director of rugby David Nucifora signalled Schmidt’s likely entry into the coaching staff.
While other candidates, such as former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and Leicester coach Dan McKellar, were initially considered, it appears that Joe Schmidt is the frontrunner for the coveted position of Wallabies head coach.
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