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Joe Schmidt won't be the next head-coach of the New Zealand rugby team.

New Zealand chairman Brent Impey has confirmed that the former Ireland boss has ruled himself out of the race to succeed Steve Hansen.

Schmidt landed three Six Nations titles and a Grand Slam during his six years with Ireland which ended with their loss to the All-Blacks in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.

The Kawakawa native indicated last year that he'd be retiring from coaching but has recently indicated that he'll be open to offers to return to work next summer.

"Joe has made his position very clear," Impey said.

"We've kept in close contact with Joe. His plan for family reasons is to step away from coaching.

"He's returning to New Zealand to live at some point in the future. We see him as very valuable, but in the interim, Joe's made his position very clear."

Former World Cup-winning All Blacks coach Graham Henry is heading up a selection committee which has contacted 26 coaches about applying for the position.

Ian Foster, who was assistant to Hansen at the World Cup, is considered the early front runner alongside Scott Robertson.

Japan boss Jamie Joseph and Glasgow coach Dave Rennie are also being linked with the position.

Henry says they've cast the net wide in the search for a new coaching team:

“Whether it’s your scrum coach, your backs coach, your defence coach, whatever it is, we want to see a team going forward.

“Those 26 candidates know what we’ve been saying so we’re expecting that in the applications.

“This is high performance. You’ve got to get the best, the very, very best. Our standards are very high. We believe our team has to be the best it possibly can.”

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