Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt turned down the opportunity to become part of the All Blacks coaching team last year.

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said they wanted Schmidt to come in to replace Wayne Smith who was retiring in summer 2017, with the idea that either Schmidt or Ian Foster would take the head coach role once Steve Hansen eventually departs.

Tew confirmed the approach to the New Zealand Herald. Schmidt instead elected to stay on as Ireland head coach until the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Schmidt has now confirmed he will leave his Irish role following the tournament in Japan next year, with defence coach Andy Farrell lined up to replace him.

The New Zealander, who took over in 2013, had led Ireland to three Six Nations titles, 2014, 2015 and the Grand Slam success in 2018.

He’s also coached Ireland to their first ever win over the All Blacks, with a 40-29 success in Chicago and secured a first victory over New Zealand on home soil this year, 16-9 at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland’s Grand Slam success this year, was followed by a 2-1 series win in Australia and a clean sweep in November, leading Schmidt to win the 2018 World Rugby Coach of the Year.

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