Australia announce former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt as new Wallabies head coach

By Sports Desk January 18, 2024

Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has been announced by Rugby Australia as the new Wallabies head coach.

Schmidt coached Ireland from 2013-2019 where he won the Six Nations and was recognised as the World Rugby coach of the year in 2018. Prior to that he was a multiple trophy winner with Leinster.

More recently he was an assistant coach for the All Blacks from 2022 and during their runners-up finish in the World Cup last year.

Schmidt signed a two-year deal with Australia and takes over from former England coach Eddie Jones who left the role after the World Cup.

Rugby Australia (RA) chief Phil Waugh said Schmidt’s coaching background and experience was a significant reason for his appointment.

He said: “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.”

Schmidt said he is looking forward to starting in the role after a slump in Australian rugby in recent years.

He said: “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.

“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.”

The Wallabies failed to progress through the group stage in the World Cup, losing to Wales and Fiji, and have won just three of their last 10 matches.

Related items

  • All Blacks captain Cane to retire from international rugby All Blacks captain Cane to retire from international rugby

    New Zealand captain Sam Cane has announced he will retire from international rugby at the end of 2024, having agreed a three-year contract with Japan Rugby League One team Tokyo Sungoliath.

    Cane made his All Blacks debut in 2012 and has represented his country 95 times, including through the team's triumphant run at the 2015 World Cup.

    The flanker succeeded Kieran Read as captain in 2020, though his most recent international outing ended with him suffering the ignominy of becoming the first man to be sent off in a Rugby World Cup final, as New Zealand were beaten by South Africa last year.

    Cane will be eligible to represent the All Blacks through the second half of 2024 after returning from an initial spell in Japan but will then head there permanently after New Zealand Rugby agreed to release him from his contract. 

    "A good opportunity came my way with Sungoliath willing to offer me a three-year contract," Cane said. "I had to weigh up everything and, in the end, with a young family it seemed like the best decision to help set us up for our future.

    "I had my time as captain and it was a huge honour and privilege. If I'm fortunate enough to be selected for the All Blacks this year then I'll still be myself. 

    "I love that team, and if part of my role is contributing leadership-wise, I'll be happy to support the new captain as best I can to help with a speedy transition."

  • Rees-Zammit relishing Mahomes advice as former rugby star eyes spot on Chiefs roster Rees-Zammit relishing Mahomes advice as former rugby star eyes spot on Chiefs roster

    Louis Rees-Zammit has likened Patrick Mahomes to an extra coach as he looks to make an impact in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Rees-Zammit shocked rugby union fans in January when he announced he was turning his back on the sport to enter the NFL's International Player Pathway programme. 

    He was signed by two-time defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City in March and is now looking to earn a place on their roster for 2024, learning the role of running back at the Chiefs' rookie minicamp after attending another training camp alongside Mahomes. 

    Rees-Zammit has made sure to pick the brains of Mahomes, who has led the Chiefs to six straight AFC Championship games and won three Super Bowl rings since being drafted in 2017.

    "It was amazing, all the quarterbacks and receivers were there, we were running routes, we were working in the gym", Rees-Zammit said of his experience at that camp in Texas.

    "It was a great two weeks, I definitely learned a lot with Pat and the other boys."

    Asked if Mahomes was acting like an extra coach, he said: "100 per cent. 

    "I'm new to the game so I'm trying to pick everyone's brains and try and pick up the sport as quick as possible because I want to be out there playing.

    "The way I can do that is picking the brains of everyone that's currently here and trying to learn the game as quickly as possible."

    Chiefs head coach Andy Reid has been impressed by Rees-Zammit's attitude, saying: "He's so diligent with everything and wants to be so good at everything. I appreciate that. 

    "I like the fact he's got shorter steps initially, that's a good thing as a running back. If you're a long strider in there you've got to really work on making it through those tight adjustments you have to make. He seems to have a nice feel."
     

  • England and Saracens number eight Vunipola fined after arrest in Mallorca England and Saracens number eight Vunipola fined after arrest in Mallorca

    England international Billy Vunipola has confirmed he has been fined after an incident which saw him arrested in Mallorca on Sunday, with his club Saracens set to launch an internal investigation. 

    On Monday, widespread reports claimed Vunipola had been tasered by Spanish police in the early hours of Sunday morning, with an altercation taking place after he left a club in Palma.

    Saracens later confirmed they were aware of an incident and said they would deal with it internally.

    The number eight, who was born in Australia but has represented England 75 times, later released a statement of his own via his club, denying that any violence took place and confirming the police investigation was now closed.

    "I can confirm I was involved in an unfortunate misunderstanding when I was leaving a club in Mallorca on Sunday, which got out of hand," that statement read. 

    "Contrary to media reports, there was no violence, no fight and I did not threaten anybody at any stage, with bottles or chairs or anything else.

    "I was charged with resisting the law and, following an 'express trial', I have paid a fine of €240. The Spanish police investigation is now closed, and I am flying back to the UK today.

    "I will obviously cooperate with the Saracens internal process and unreservedly apologise for any inconvenience to all involved."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.