Dublin - Ireland coach Joe Schmidt underwent an operation to have his appendix removed on Saturday night just hours after masterminding the Six Nations champions' 26-23 victory over Australia, the Irish Rugby Football Union announced on Sunday.The 49-year-old New Zealander -- who managed to get through the nerve wracking game before being taken to a Dublin hospital shortly after the match finished after feeling unwell all day.
"Following yesterday's game against Australia, Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt was assessed by the match day doctors and was sent to St Vincents Hospital for further assessment," said the statement.
"On Saturday night Joe had his appendix removed and is recovering well this morning. Joe would like to thank the doctors and nurses of St Vincents Hospital and everyone for their well wishes and kind messages of support."
Schmidt hadn't hinted at the pain he was feeling when he spoke to Irish national broadcaster RTE after the match.
However, he did say, when asked would the win set them up for retaining the Six Nations title: "I'm just hoping to survive tonight."
The team spokesman said Schmidt had been in agony all day before watching the Irish edge a thriller and complete their first double over the Wallabies and the Springboks -- whom they beat 29-15 a fortnight ago -- since 2006.
"He manned up today but he had to go to hospital after having been looked at here at Lansdowne Road," said the spokesman.
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell -- named man of the match -- said Schmidt had not said a word about his illness.