Joe Schmidt (rugby union)
|Birth name||Josef Schmidt|
|Date of birth||12 September 1965|
|Place of birth||Kawakawa, New Zealand|
|Rugby union career|
Josef Schmidt is a New Zealand-born rugby union coach, who was the head coach of Ireland from 2013–2019. In six years under his leadership, Ireland won three Six Nations Championships, including a Grand Slam in 2018, and were ranked number 1 in the World Rugby Rankings for the first time in their history in 2019, and recorded their first-ever wins over his home nation of New Zealand. Schmidt's first head coaching role in Europe was with Leinster Rugby, beginning in 2010. He brought unprecedented success to the province, reaching six finals and winning four trophies in three years. He was previously an assistant coach with the Blues and Clermont Auvergne.
Early life and career
Schmidt was born in Kawakawa, Northland, New Zealand, and brought up in Woodville - population 1470 - near Palmerston North. He went to Tararua College in Pahiatua.
After training as a school teacher, Schmidt played rugby in New Zealand, including 29 games in the provincial championship for Manawatu. In 1991, during a gap year, Schmidt travelled to Ireland with his wife Kellie to take up an offer by Foras Áiseanna Saothair (FÁS) to coach the underage teams (called the minis) of Mullingar RFC in the Midlands Region and he also played amateur rugby in the Irish lower leagues. He then returned to New Zealand to take up a teaching position. He taught English and/or coached at Palmerston North Boys' High, Napier Boys' High School and Tauranga Boys' College where he was deputy principal.
New Zealand clubs
Schmidt took up the option to coach New Zealand Schools, before leaving teaching to coach Bay of Plenty from 2003–2004. While at the Steamers he won the Ranfurly Shield defeating Auckland on 15 August 2004. The Steamers had one successful defence of the title before losing to Canterbury. Schmidt joined the Blues as assistant coach from 2004–2007 where, in his final year, they were knocked out in the semi-final.
Schmidt moved to Europe and joined Clermont Auvergne in 2007 as backs coach under Vern Cotter who he had previously worked with in Auckland. The side finished Top 14 runners-up twice in 2008 & 2009. In 2010 the side finally won the competition, after 11 appearances in the final. In Europe, Clermont made a less impact in the competition than in the Top 14. Between 2007 and 2009, Clermont failed to progress past the group stages, but during the 2009–10 Heineken Cup, Schmidt's last season with Clermont, Clermont advanced to the Quarter-finals. They lost to Leinster 29–28, with Leinster ironically Schmidt's next coaching role.
Schmidt took over as Leinster Rugby head coach from Michael Cheika for the 2010–11 season. Under his leadership Leinster won the 2011 Heineken Cup, after beating Northampton Saints 33–22, and lost to Munster in the Celtic League Grand Final in May 2011. In the 2011–2012 season, he coached Leinster to a second Pro12 final, losing to the Ospreys 31–30, and led the team to the 2012 Heineken Cup Final, where Leinster retained their title beating Ulster 42–14. In his final year in charge, he coached Leinster to winning the Amlin Challenge Cup and Pro12 titles, haven beaten Stade Français 34–13 and Ulster 24–18 respectively. He ended his Leinster tenure with an overall record of 77 wins from 99 matches, which included a 75% win rate in the Pro 12 and an 85% win rate in Europe.
Ireland national team
The IRFU announced on 29 April 2013 that Schmidt would leave his position as Leinster coach to take over the Ireland coaching position left vacant by Declan Kidney. Schmidt's first contract would run until the end of the 2015–16 season. His first game in charge of Ireland was during the 2013 end of year tests, where he opened his tenure against Samoa on 9 November 2013 - Ireland won the match 40–9 The following week, Ireland were convincingly beaten by Australia, losing 32–15. However, on 24 November, Ireland had a 19–0 lead against New Zealand but went on to lose by 24–22 after Aaron Cruden scored an overtime conversion for New Zealand. On 15 March 2014, Schmidt's Ireland side defeated France in Paris 22–20 to lift the 2014 Six Nations Championship title, his first silverware with the nation. His only loss was to England at Twickenham 13–10. In June 2014, Ireland claimed their first ever test series win over Argentina during their 2014 Argentine test series. The first test, marked Ireland's first ever win over Argentina on Argentine soil, winning 29–17. In November 2014 during the end-of-year rugby union internationals, Ireland defeated South Africa, Georgia and Australia to move to third in the World Rugby Rankings.
On 1 March 2015, Ireland won their tenth test match in a row after a 19–9 win against England in the 2015 Six Nations Championship, equalling an Irish record set in 2003. That run came to an end in the next match on 15 March when Ireland lost 23–16 against Wales at the Millennium Stadium, a defeat that ended Ireland's hopes of winning the Grand Slam. During the final week of the 2015 Six Nations, Ireland, England, France and Wales were all in the chance to claim the title. With Wales' 61–20 win over Italy in the first fixture of the week, not only could France not claim the title, Ireland needed to beat Scotland by more than 21 points to knock Wales out of the equation and keep their chance of retaining the title alive - Ireland later recorded a 40–10 victory. The final match saw England and France play at Twickenham, and England needed to beat France by 27 points or more to claim the title. However, England only won by 20 points, 55–35, which saw Ireland claim their title for a second consecutive year.
Ireland opened their 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign on 19 September with a 50–7 win against Canada, and followed that up a week later with a 44–10 win against Romania at Wembley Stadium. In their third match of the World Cup they faced Italy, and won the game 16–9 to book their place in the quarter-finals. In their final match of the World Cup pool stage they faced France, and won the game 24–9 to top pool D. On 18 October 2015, Ireland lost by 43–20 to Argentina in the Quarter-finals.
Ireland finished in third place in the 2016 Six Nations Championship with two wins against Italy (58–15) and Scotland (35–25), a draw against Wales (16–16) and two losses to France (10–9) and England (21–10). In June 2016, Schmidt led Ireland to their first ever away victory over South Africa when the Irish won the first test of their tour of South Africa 26–20. This was despite playing with only 14 players on the field for more than 50 minutes of the game when CJ Stander was red-carded in the 22nd minute. In the second test, Ireland led South Africa 19–3 at half time, but 29 unanswered points in the second half saw South Africa draw level in the series. The final test saw South Africa clinch the series, with a 19–13 win over the Irish. On 24 October 2016, Schmidt signed a new contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union to continue as Ireland head coach until the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. On 5 November 2016, in Ireland's first match of the Autumn Internationals, Ireland defeated New Zealand for the very first time in a test match, winning 40–29. The following week, they defeated Canada in Dublin 52–21, before playing New Zealand again, on this occasion, losing 21–9. On 26 November, Ireland completed a rare triple-win, defeating Australia 27–24, to become the first team since England in 2003, to beat Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in a single year.
New Zealand Rugby offered Schmidt a coaching position within the New Zealand set-up by replacing Wayne Smith and thereby offering him an path of becoming the future New Zealand Head Coach following the departure of their current head coach Steve Hansen, however, he rejected this offer and signed a two year extension to stay with Ireland up to the conclusion of Ireland's participation in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
During the 2017 Six Nations Championship, Ireland ended England's 18-match unbeaten run when they defeated them in Dublin 13–9 in the final week of the Championship, which secured Ireland a second-place finish. This came despite a first round loss to Scotland 27–22 and a 22–9 loss to Wales in Cardiff. Schmidt later led a depleted Ireland team on a victorious June tour winning all three games convincingly; 55–19 win over the United States followed by a 2–0 series win over Japan, winning 50–22 and 35–13. During the 2017 Autumn Internationals, Ireland won all three games, against South Africa (38–3) a record victory, Fiji (23–20), and Argentina (28–19) to move up to third in the World Rugby Rankings.
On March 10, 2018, Ireland claimed the 2018 Six Nations Championship with a round to go, and rose to second place in the world rankings. This came, following victories over France (15–13), Italy (56–19), Wales (37–27) and Scotland (28–8). Their Championship was complete with a 24–15 victory over England, their first since 2010 at Twickenham, in the final round to claim their first Grand Slam since 2009. In June 2018, he led his side to a 2–1 series victory over Australia, their first series win in Australia since 1979.
On 17 November 2018, in the end-of-year internationals, Ireland beat New Zealand for the second time (and the first time on Irish soil). Following this victory, speculation was rife that Schmidt would not renew his contract as Ireland's head coach and that he would put his family first and return to New Zealand.
On 25 November 2018, at the World Rugby Awards which were hosted in Monaco, Joe Schmidt was awarded the World Rugby Coach of the Year. He is only the second Irish Rugby Football Union coach to receive the award (the first Irish Rugby Football Union Coach to win it was Declan Kidney back in 2009). He was not present at the ceremony and Ireland Rugby Vice-Captain Peter O'Mahony accepted the award on Schmidt's behalf. At the same awards, Ireland was awarded World Rugby Team of the Year and Irish flyhalf Jonathan Sexton walked away with World Rugby Player of the Year.
On 26 November 2018 Schmidt announced his retirement from coaching after the 2019 Rugby World Cup. He began his final year as Ireland coach with a 32–20 loss to England on 2 February in the first round of the 2019 Six Nations Championship. This was Ireland's first home loss since 2016, and their first loss to England at the Aviva Stadium since 2013. Ireland returned to winning ways against Scotland the following week, winning 22–13 before back to back wins over Italy and France and defeat away to Grand Slam winning Wales on 16 March to finish in third place in the championship.
However, Schmidt guided Ireland to World number 1 in the World Rugby Rankings for the first time in their history when his Irish teams defeated Wales back-to-back, home and away, in the 2019 Rugby World Cup warm-up matches.
At the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Ireland began with a 27–3 win against Scotland on 22 September before losing to Japan a week later 19–12 in the Shizuoka Stadium. Wins over Russia by 35-0 and Samoa by 47-5 set up a quarter-final against New Zealand on 19 October. In Schmidt's last game in charge, New Zealand won 46–14 to eliminate Ireland from the World Cup at the quarter-final stage. Schmidt later analysed that not prioritising the 2019 Six Nations Championship ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup subsequently resulted in Ireland underperforming in the Rugby World Cup.
Technical Advisor & World Rugby
In February 2020, Schmidt worked with the Spanish national team for a day in advance of their Rugby Europe Championship match with Georgia and he was due to co-coach the Classic All Blacks team in their match against Spain in May 2020, however the match was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schmidt was appointed World Rugby's Director of Rugby and High Performance in October 2020, a newly created position that includes responsibility on issues related to player welfare, training and education.
Ireland head coaching record by opponent
|Opponent||Played||Won||Drew||Lost||Win ratio (%)||Points for||Points against|
Updated as of 19 October 2019
Bay of Plenty (as assistant coach)
- Ranfurly Shield
- Winner: 2004 (1 successful defence)
Clermont Auvergne (as assistant coach)
- Top 14
- Winner: 2010
- Runners-up: 2008, 2009
Schmidt is known for analysing his opposition closely, for short, sharp training sessions, and for simple game strategies based on pressure, territory, intelligent defence with aggressive line speed, and rehearsed attacking plays. He also sometimes limits offloading if he feels his side will not win the collisions.
Schmidt missed the preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup warm-up match with Italy in Dublin to be by the bedside of his mother as she passed away. He later said at a press conference in Japan, when asked of his future plans after the World Cup, "we'll probably stay in Ireland for sometime. We've become pretty settled there" and "A big motivator for me to get back [to New Zealand] was family and unfortunately we lost our mum recently." However, Schmidt moved with his family back to New Zealand in 2020, as he explained in the best interests of his youngest son Luke, who was struggling with his epilepsy under the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions imposed by the Irish Government.
- "Citizen Schmidt: Ireland rugby coach now one of our own". Irish Times. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- MerrionStreet.ie #StayAtHome (2 September 2015). "Joe Schmidt, Olly Hodges and Richardt Strauss all became citizens in a ceremony presided over by Judge Bryan McMahonpic.twitter.com/XsR22jRKu4". @merrionstreet. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
- "Rugby: Grand Slam in hand, Ireland eye knocking New Zealand off number one". 19 March 2018.
- Humble beginnings in Midlands had Schmidt hallmarks. (11 September 2019). RTE Sport. Retrieved 16 February 2016
- Padraic Halpin (29 April 2013). "Kiwi Schmidt named new Ireland coach". Stuff.co.nz/Reuters. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "Schmidt to take over at Leinster". BBC News. 28 December 2009.
- "Heineken Cup: Leinster 33–22 Northampton". RTÉ Sport. 21 May 2011. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- "Heineken Cup Final: Leinster beat Ulster to retain trophy". BBC News. 19 May 2012.
- "Joe Schmidt appointed as Ireland rugby coach". RTÉ News. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "Leinster's Joe Schmidt is appointed new Ireland coach". BBC News. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- "Schmidt the right man in right place at the right time". Irish Independent. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- "Leinster's Joe Schmidt is appointed new Ireland coach". BBC Sport. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
- "Schmidt names three fresh faces in squad". ESPN. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2013.
- "Schmidt leaves three Lions out for Samoa as O'Connell confirmed as captain". Irish Independent. 7 November 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013.
- "Heroic Ireland denied at the death". Irish Examiner. 25 November 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
- "Ireland beat Australia to complete Test clean sweep". Irish Independent. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "Five things we learned from Ireland's victorious Autumn Series". Irish Independent. 23 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "Joe Schmidt wins Philips Manager of the Year award". The Score. 10 December 2014. Archived from the original on 11 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
- "Rory McIlroy crowned the RTÉ Sport Sports Person of the Year as BOD enters Hall of Fame". Irish Independent. 21 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- "Brilliant Ireland set World Cup benchmark". Irish Independent. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Wales end Ireland's grand slam chances with Scott Williams try". Guardian. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
- "Determined Ireland batter Scots". ESPN. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Ireland hammer Scotland and retain their title after a nervous wait". Guardian. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
- "Huge boost for Irish rugby as Joe Schmidt commits to 2017". Irish Independent. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
- "Ireland lay down marker with seven-try rout". ESPN. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
- "Ireland continue 100% record with Romania rout". ESPN. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
- "Rugby World Cup 2015: Ireland 16-9 Italy". BBC Sport. 4 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
- "Rugby World Cup 2015: Ireland 24-9 France". BBC Sport. 11 October 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
- "Ireland 20 Argentina 43". Guardian. 18 October 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
- "Joe Schmidt signs new contract to remain as Ireland head coach until after 2019 World Cup". The 42. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
- "Ruaidhri O'Connor: Unfinished business sets Schmidt on World Cup course". Irish Independent. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
- Ireland 27 Australia 24: Joe Schmidt's side become first team since 2003 to beat southern hemisphere 'big three'
- "Joe Schmidt turned down New Zealand approach to sign Ireland extension". Irish Times. 12 December 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- "DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has signed a two-year contract extension to stay on until the end of the 2019 World Cup, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) said on Monday". SBS News. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- "Jacob Stockdale leads the way as Ireland finish on a high with win over Argentina". Irish Independent. 25 November 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
- "Six Nations: Ireland win 2018 title after England's defeat by France". BBC Sport. 10 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- "Ireland move up to second in World Rugby rankings after win over Scotland". The 42. 12 March 2018. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- "Jacob Stockdale scores only try as Ireland earn historic win over All Blacks". Guardian. 17 November 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
- Thornley, Gerry (23 November 2018). "All the signs suggest Joe Schmidt will be leaving after the World Cup". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- "England beat Ireland 32-20 in Dublin". BBC Sport. 2 February 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- "Wales win Six Nations Grand Slam". BBC Sport. 16 March 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- Glennon, Michael (7 September 2019). "World Rugby ranking fools no one, All Blacks still favourites - Schmidt". RTE Sport. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- Farrell, Sean. "'It's a nice label to get,' says Schmidt as Ireland summit World Rugby rankings". The 42.ie. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- "Joe Schmidt's side win Rugby World Cup opener". BBC Sport. 22 September 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- "Japan stun Ireland to pull off another famous Rugby World Cup upset". Guardian. 28 September 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- "Ireland get World Cup campaign back on track with hard-fought Russia rout". Guardian. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- "Ireland thrash Samoa to ease into last eight despite Bundee Aki red card". Guardian. 12 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- "New Zealand thrash Ireland to set up World Cup semi-final with England". Guardian. 19 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- "New Zealand 46-14 Ireland: 'We gave All Blacks a leg up' says Irish coach Schmidt". BBC Sport. 19 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- "Joe Schmidt 'blown away' by offers to continue coaching". The 42. 22 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
- Lewis, Simon (21 November 2019). "Joe Schmidt: 'We didn't prioritise this year's Six Nations and I think that was a mistake'". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- Kinsella, Murray. "Addison injury a concern as Farrell gets set to name Ireland squad tomorrow". The42. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
- Joe Schmidt to work with Spain team for a day ahead of big Georgia clash. (5 February 2020). The 42 Retrieved 12 February 2021
- Joe Schmidt: “Pesaba 70 kilos y mis rivales, 100” [Joe Schmidt: "I weighed 70 kilos and my rivals 100"] (12 February 2020). La Vanguardia. Retrieved 15 February 2021
- Joe Schmidt, con el XV del León en Sant Cugat en vísperas de recibir a Georgia [Joe Schmidt, with The Lions XV in Sant Cugat on the eve of receiving Georgia].FERugby. Retrieved 15 February 2021
- Classic All Blacks to Play XV del Leon in Madrid. Latin American Herald Tribune. Retrieved 15 February 2021
- XV del León vs Classic All Blacks, el 8 de mayo de 2021 en el Metropolitano [The Lions XV vs Classic All Blacks, on May 8, 2021 at the Metropolitano]. FERugby. Retrieved 15 February 2021
- World Rugby appoints Joe Schmidt as Director of Rugby and High Performance (08 October 2020). World Rugby. Retrieved 15 February 2021
- Cummiskey, Gavin (8 October 2020). "Joe Schmidt named World Rugby's high performance director". The Irish Times. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
- Former Ireland boss Joe Schmidt lands new role with World Rugby. (8 October 2020). BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 February 2021
- Joe Schmidt appointed to plum role as World Rugby's high performance chief. (9 October 2020). Stuff. Retrieved 15 February 2021
- "'One of the best': Joe Schmidt becomes an Irish citizen". The Journal. 2 September 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt returns to New Zealand after family bereavement. (7 August 2019). Stuff. Retrieved 16 February 2021
- Ireland coach Joe Schmidt returns to New Zealand before Italy game after family bereavement. (6 August 2019). BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 February 2021
- Thornley, Gerry (21 November 2019). "Schmidt was handed cards late mother wrote in lead-up to quarter-final". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- Scully, Michael (15 September 2019). "Ireland boss Joe Schmidt reveals plan to remain in Dublin after World Cup". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
- O'Loughlin, Ciara (13 February 2021). "'Great to get the wider family together' – former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt describes life in Covid-free New Zealand". Irish Independent. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- Quinn, Gavin (12 February 2021). "Late Late Show viewers jealous as ex-Ireland boss Joe Schmidt describes life in Covid-free New Zealand". The Irish Mirror. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
- Townsend, Michelle. (12 February 2021). Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt tells of joy over becoming a Grandfather for the first time. RSVPLive. Retrieved 18 February 2021