Rugby Championship News

McCaw backs Schmidt to coach All Blacks




Former All Black captain Richie McCaw has backed Ireland’s New Zealand born coach Joe Schmidt to lead the All Blacks in the future.

Schmidt is contracted to Ireland currently and has made a name for himself in European Rugby since he left New Zealand in 2007.

The Ireland national coach led Leinster to back-to-back European tiles before taking charge of Ireland who went on to win back-to-back Six Nations titles.

Ireland had a disappointing Rugby World Cup as they were ravaged by injuries to key players and whilst rebuilding came third in this year’s Six Nations.

In 2013 McCaw led New Zealand through an unbeaten season but needed a try on full time to beat Schmidt’s Ireland team.

Schmidt’s contract with Ireland runs through to 2017 which is the same year that All Blacks coach Steve Hansen’s contract comes up for renewal.

Hansen has indicated that he may want to step down after the British and Irish Lions Tour and McCaw says that Schmidt has what it takes to fill Hansen’s shoes.

“We all watch with a bit of interest all the teams that have the Kiwis involved,” the former All Blacks skipper told Sky Sports.

“Certainly Joe, with his record and the teams he’s been involved with, has been pretty successful.

“The guys who have experienced his coaching before he came here always talked pretty highly of him.

“We nearly suffered from that in 2013 so it doesn’t go unnoticed. Down the track a guy like that could come back and coach in New Zealand, maybe the All Blacks one day.

“He’s the type of guy who’d be great. The experience he’s picked up here would be invaluable.”

McCaw said that with jobs opening up in New Zealand at Super Rugby level with the Crusaders and Highlanders, he would like to see Schmidt back in New Zealand sooner rather than later.

“There’s a few Super Rugby jobs coming, he’d be a great man to have back in the fold,” he said.

“To have a guy like that back in the New Zealand fold would be awesome.”

Ireland have never beaten New Zealand but McCaw said that had Ireland first-five Jonathan Sexton not missed a penalty in that 2013 match they could have earned their first win.

“It would have sealed it,” he said of Sexton’s penalty.

“The fact that it didn’t opened the door for us; we had been offered the opportunity. But that’s that moment in sport. If he [Sexton] had been offered that again he would probably have got that goal.

“At the end of the game, I felt like we didn’t deserve to win – that’s what I loved about the team I was involved in: we found a way.”

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