Schmidt signs contract extension with IRFU – until 2017

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Joe Schmidt has signed a contract extension to remain in his role as Ireland head coach until June 2017.

The IRFU confirmed the news in a statement this afternoon, with IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora welcoming the news.

“We believe that Joe is one of the leading coaches in world rugby so we are delighted that he has extended his contract and will continue to work in Irish Rugby until the end of the 2016/17 season,” Nucifora said.

Schmidt has been in the role since 2013 and has guided Ireland to back-to-back Six Nations victories.

In that time the team has achieved a 78% win ratio – with 14 wins and 4 losses from the 18 Test matches played to date.

Ireland were ranked 8th in the World Rugby in October 2013 and are currently ranked 3rd.

There had been reports that Schmidt had committed to Ireland for another eight years, but the IRFU have confirmed the contract extension is up to 2017.

Joe Schmidt said: “I appreciate the support I have had from the IRFU and look forward to the next two challenging years with the National Team.

“It has been great to be involved in such a player driven environment, along with such a skilled and positive staff to support them in their quest to be as competitive as possible.”