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In the near future, it is expected that Joe Schmidt will take over as the head coach of Australia, replacing Eddie Jones.
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In the near future, it is expected that Joe Schmidt will take over as the head coach of Australia, replacing Eddie Jones.

Joe Schmidt is set to replace Eddie Jones as head coach of Australia with an official announcement expected in the coming days.

In December, AAP announced that Schmidt was a top candidate for the position due to his past experience working with Rugby Australia’s (RA) recently appointed head of high-performance, Peter Horne, at World Rugby.

The CEO of RA, former flanker with 79 international caps Phil Waugh, had stated that an announcement would be made before the Wallabies’ first Test against Wales in July. The deadline for expressions of interest for the position officially closed on Friday.

However, several reports indicate that veteran players were informed of Schmidt’s upcoming hiring on Wednesday.

Schmidt’s appointment will raise the tantalising prospect of a blockbuster summer 2025 when the British and Irish Lions, coached by his former Ireland mentee Andy Farrell, tour the country.

He will become the third coach from New Zealand, following Robbie Deans and Dave Rennie, to lead the Australian team. Australia is currently ranked ninth in the world after their disappointing performance in the World Cup last year, where they failed to advance past the group stage for the first time.

Schmidt appears to have beaten a field that included Ian Foster, who he assisted when the All Blacks reached last year’s World Cup final, as well as former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and homegrown talents Dan McKellar and Stephen Larkham.

He collaborated closely with Australian David Nucifora, who will be coming back to RA in a consulting position in the summer after completing his duties as Ireland’s high-performance director following the Paris Olympics.

Ireland won three Six Nations crowns and the 2018 grand slam, progressing to world No 1 in a seven-year stint under Schmidt. He then joined World Rugby’s high-performance team, before returning to coaching as Foster’s assistant, culminating in a one-point loss in the World Cup final.

Jones, the newly appointed coach of Japan, agreed to a five-year contract with the Wallabies following Rennie’s unexpected dismissal. However, he was released from his position in under a year, with the Wallabies only securing victories in two out of nine matches in 2023.

Source: theguardian.com