Rúaidhrí O'Connor joined Monday Night rugby to discuss Joe Schmidt's appointment in New Zealand.
Covid-19 is still a big factor in sports. Ireland's test series with New Zealand won't be cancelled because of Covid, but at least three players are missing out on the first game because of it. At least three of New Zealand's coaching staff are missing out on the week leading up to the first test too.
That has led to Joe Schmidt being installed as the New Zealand head coach this week. Schmidt will take training sessions and likely watch over the team on Saturday.
Schmidt was scheduled to join the New Zealand staff after the series against Ireland. As a former Ireland coach, the man who preceded Andy Farrell, Schmidt will know a lot about the Irish players. But surpassed his association with Andy Farrell's team, Schmidt himself is a great addition to any coaching staff.
Rúaidhrí O'Connor explained.
"If you have Joe Schmidt as part of your organization, you get him on the pitch," O'Connor said.
"Because he's one of the best coaches in the game, if not in the history of the game. I know things went sour with Ireland but the things he achieved here, both here and at Leinster and at Clermont, and the respect that he has across the board. He's a phenomenal coach."
In one week, with an international team that is just coming together after a long season, Schmidt won't have a big impact. But he is still an impactful coach despite his time away from coaching. Schmidt returned to a similar coaching role with the Aukland Blues and his presence was immediately felt.
But don't expect Schmidt to take over the New Zealand job full time.
"He doesn't want that front-facing [role]. He doesn't want to do the media. It's a bit like Stuart Lancaster at Leinster. It probably suits him to be in that Keyser Soze type role where he gets in and out."
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