Joe Schmidt reveals Wallabies plans after Australia land ex-Ireland chief as head coach

Schmidt tasked with lifting team after poor form culminated in early World Cup exit

Joe Schmidt says he is ready to revive Australian rugby after the former Ireland boss was named as the new Wallabies head coach.

The 58-year-old has been given a two-year contract and takes over from Eddie Jones, who vacated the post after a disastrous World Cup campaign that resulted in Australia failing to progress past the group stages. The Wallabies have only won three of their last ten matches and have slumped to ninth in the world rankings. Schmidt’s first match in charge will be a summer test against Wales, with his deal encompassing three matches against the British and Irish Lions in 2025.

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“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 Rugby Australia,” Schmidt said after his position was confirmed. “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.”

Joe Schmidt was unveiled as the new Australia head coach on Friday.Joe Schmidt was unveiled as the new Australia head coach on Friday.
Joe Schmidt was unveiled as the new Australia head coach on Friday.

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.

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