Joe Schmidt's son's health the reason for his coaching break?

2018-11-27 16:20
Joe Schmidt (Gallo)

Cape Town - It's thought that the health of his son Luke is behind Joe Schmidt's decision to take a break from coaching.

READ: Rassie Erasmus on why he chatted to Duane Vermeulen via microphone mid-Test

According to the Stuff website, New Zealander Schmidt, who's announced he'll walk away from his job of Ireland coach following next year's Rugby World Cup, has always been guarded on the topic of his family.

But son Luke, 15, suffers from epilepsy and battled a brain tumour when he was younger.

Schmidt senior is in great demand having guided Ireland to two wins over New Zealand in the last three years and been tipped as a frontrunner to be the next All Blacks coach, should incumbent Steve Hansen also move on after the World Cup.

It's unclear whether the Schmidts plan to return to New Zealand, but it's understood living in Ireland has provided Luke with access to neurological care nearby in London that wasn't available at home.

Schmidt has previously been linked to an assistant coach's role with the All Blacks, but it's believed his son's health has contributed to the decision to stay put.

Schmidt has previously been quoted on the topics of a contract extension in Ireland or trying his luck with New Zealand.

"Yeah, for all sorts of reasons, it's not really my decision to be honest," Schmidt said, before pausing.

"I've got a young fella struggling at the moment. That's just the way it is."

In announcing that he would not continue as Ireland coach beyond 2019, Schmidt said he would "prioritise family commitments".

Schmidt went to Ireland in 2010, guiding Leinster to great club success, before becoming Ireland coach three years later. A teacher by trade, and provincial player for Manawatu, Schmidt gained Irish citizenship in 2015.

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Luke and Joe Schmidt (Getty Images)

Luke and Joe Schmidt (Getty Images)

Read more on:    ireland  |  all blacks  |  joe schmidt  |  rugby


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