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Schmidt agonizing over whether to stay as Ireland coach

November 22, 2018

MAYNOOTH, Ireland (AP) — Joe Schmidt is set to decide on Sunday whether he will stay on as Ireland rugby coach — and is still agonizing over the decision.

Schmidt’s contract expires after next year’s World Cup in Japan and he is expected to be in demand after guiding his team from eighth to second in the world rankings in five years in the job.

The 53-year-old New Zealander has masterminded Ireland’s only two victories over the All Blacks, including the 16-9 win in Dublin last Saturday.

“It’s a decision that will probably not be finalized until Sunday,” Schmidt said ahead of Ireland closing its series of November tests with a match against the United States on Saturday.

“The family I have probably committed most to is this family that I live with in Carton House (Ireland’s training base) as much as it is the family I have at home. So we’ve put our heads together and tried to reconcile how we can best, maybe, cater for both.”

Schmidt would be a front-runner to take charge of New Zealand should Steve Hansen quit after the World Cup. The All Blacks coach is set to announce his decision before Christmas.

“I know I can’t continue to just go backwards and forwards,” Schmidt said, “because I’ve beaten myself up enough about this decision. I’m probably going to be the most pleased of anyone when it finally is made.”

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