England to splash the cash for Schmidt?

2015-10-20 15:12
Joe Schmidt (Gallo)

London - Despite denying reports he could replace England coach Stuart Lancaster, England are still chasing Ireland mentor Joe Schmidt.

England under Lancaster had a forgettable 2015 Rugby World Cup, crashing out of the tournament after the pool phase after defeats to Wales and Australia.

Predictably, Lancaster's job is now under fire with a five-man committee having been set up to establish "what went wrong" and whether Lancaster should keep his job - or be fired.

New Zealand-born Schmidt, 50, started out his coaching career as an assistant coach at both the Blues in New Zealand and Clermont-Auvergne in France.

He then took the reins at Leinster in Ireland before taking over as Ireland coach in April 2013 from Declan Kidney.

Under his leadership, Ireland won both the 2014 and 2015 Six Nations titles.

Schmidt became an Irish citizen last month.

At this year's World Cup, Ireland topped their pool after wins over Canada (50-7), Romania (44-10), Italy (16-9) and France (24-9).

However, a string of injuries to key players like Jonny Sexton and Paul O'Connell among others left Ireland short of experience and they were eliminated 43-20 from the tournament in the quarter-finals by Argentina.

That hasn't stopped the rumour mill however, with France daily Midi Olympique reporting that England are ready to pay Ireland £1.5m (R30m) for Schmidt's services.

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