Wallabies firm on Joe Schmidt as next coach to put Eddie Jones saga behind them


Former Ireland and All Blacks coach Joe Schmidt is expected to be named the next Wallabies coach, finally putting the Eddie Jones saga behind Australian rugby.

The New Zealand-born Schmidt was the mastermind behind Ireland’s ascendancy to the top of the rugby world guiding the nation to World No. 1 for the first time in 2019.

In his time with Ireland, Schmidt oversaw the nation’s most successful period, winning three Six Nations titles in 2014, 2015 and a Grand Slam in 2018, its first win against South Africa in South Africa, first win over New Zealand and a series win over Australia.

Schmidt walked away from the Ireland role after the 2019 World Cup in order to spend more time with family, particularly his son Luke, who battled a brain tumour at age five and has suffered severe epilepsy from the age of four.

But since moving back to New Zealand, the 53-year-old has been an All Blacks selector, filled in as coach when needed and has been the nation’s attack coach since 2022.

Joe Schmidt helped Ireland to the top of World Rugby. Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFPSource: AFP

While there is no confirmation as yet from Rugby Australia, sources have confirmed to CODE Sports that Schmidt is the preferred candidate.

The SMH reported the paperwork only had to be finalised before Schmidt was announced.

It comes after Eddie Jones vacated the role in October 2023, just 10 months and a disastrous World Cup campaign into a five-year deal.

Jones has since been named the Japanese coach, despite continually denying links throughout the World Cup campaign.

If Schmidt is named Jones’ successor, he will have some time to whip the Wallabies into order as Australia’s next match is July 6 against Wales.

The book is closed on Eddie Jones. Photo by Richard A. Brooks / AFPSource: AFP

The move could also pit Schmidt against his Irish successor as soon as 2025 as the Shamrock’s head coach Owen Farrell was last week named the head coach of the British and Irish Lions.

Farrell served as Schmidt’s defence coach with Ireland before succeeding him in 2019.

The Lions begin the 2025 campaign with a game against Argentina in Dublin on June 20.

They face Australia in three Tests in Brisbane on July 19, Melbourne on July 26 and Sydney on August 2.

“This means the world to me,” Farrell said of his appointment.

“I was always a fan of the Lions but 2013 lit something inside me that made me think ‘I need to get back involved with this’ so to be chosen as head coach is magical.

“I’ve got massive shoes to fill in terms of the people who’ve been before me and Gats (Gatland) has already been in touch.”

The Lions are comprised of leading players from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, which gives Schmidt a year to get the Wallabies back into shape.


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