Joe Schmidt announced as new Wallabies head coach

Fri, Jan 19, 2024, 12:57 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Joe Schmidt has been confirmed as Wallabies coach. Photo: Getty Images
Joe Schmidt has been confirmed as Wallabies coach. Photo: Getty Images

Rugby Australia has confirmed Joe Schmidt has been appointed as Wallabies coach.

Schmidt signs a two-year deal starting in March, committing to the side until the end of the British and Irish Lions tour in 2025.

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The 58-year-old is renowned for his success with Ireland, winning three Six Nations titles along with historic wins over the All Blacks and South Africa.

The 2018 World Rugby Coach of the Year led Ireland to the world number one ranking in 2019 before linking up with the All Blacks as an assistant coach.

Prior to this, he won two European Championships with Irish powerhouse Leinster along to go with the Challenge Cup and Pro 14 title.

Schmidt recognised the challenge ahead of him, replacing Eddie Jones after the Wallabies missed the World Cup knockout stages for the first time in history.

“I am conscious that the Wallabies have weathered a difficult period, and I am keen to help them build a way forward, with greater alignment and clear direction from RA,” he said in a statement.

“The upcoming Test matches against Wales will arrive quickly, post-Super Rugby, and the program through to the British and Irish Lions Tour next year presents plenty of opportunities and challenges – which I am sure will invigorate players and staff.

“I am looking forward to connecting with Super Rugby coaches, RA staff, and getting to observe and meet players in the coming months.”

RA incoming director of high-performance Peter Horne oversaw the ‘unanimous’ decision to appoint Schmidt, confident he can deliver success for the Wallabies.

“It has been a thorough process to make sure that we have landed the best and most suitable candidate – conducted by a panel including Dan Herbert and Phil Waugh, Joe Roff, John Eales, David Nucifora, RA’s head of people and culture and myself,” he said.

“It was a unanimous decision to appoint Joe – everyone on the panel was impressed by his demeanour, his calm and logical approach to the game, as well as his communication style.

“Throughout his career, Joe has demonstrated an ability to take a leadership role in structural reform while developing a strong culture and world-class players.

“From my personal experience working with Joe at World Rugby, he is an ideal fit for the Wallabies and Australian Rugby at this time, and I am looking forward to working closely with him on developing a stronger alignment with our Super Rugby clubs to maximise our performances."

“Joe has delivered success at every stop in his career – winning European titles with Leinster, winning Six Nations championships, leading Ireland to World Number One for the first time and, most recently, his role in the All Blacks’ run to the Rugby World Cup Final,” RA CEO Phil Waugh added.

“He has also been a World Coach of the Year after he won the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2018.

“Given our stated plan to build a unified Australian Rugby system, Joe’s experience with Ireland and New Zealand – two of the most aligned Rugby nations in the world – will no doubt prove valuable as we move forward.

“He has a global view of the game from his experience in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, and his appointment puts us in a strong position as we build towards the 2025 British and Irish Lions Tour.”

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