Irish Rugby
Schmidt in line for Ireland interview
ESPN Staff
April 15, 2013
Leinster coach Joe Schmidt barks some instructions, Leinster v Cardiff Blues, Heineken Cup quarter-final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, April 7, 2012
Could Joe Schmidt be the new Ireland coach? © Getty Images

Leinster boss Joe Schmidt has refused to rule himself out of the running for the Ireland post amid reports he is set to be interviewed for the job within the next week or so.

Reports in the Irish press claim that Schmidt is on the shortlist to replace Declan Kidney with the New Zealander expected to be interviewed by an Irish Rugby Football Union panel in the coming days. Schmidt appears to be one of the front runners for the post following an impressive tenure in charge of Leinster which has seen them win back-to-back Heineken Cups in 2011 and 2012.

Assistant coach Les Kiss is also understood to be in the frame and he will get the perfect chance to audition for the role when he takes the team on a tour of North America in the summer while Reds boss Ewen McKenzie and Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea have also been linked with the role.

Schmidt is entertaining the idea of stepping up to the national side, but he will consult the Leinster hierarchy first. "I'm going to try and give it some thought over the next couple of days," Schmidt told reporters. "I'm going to talk to some people in our committee and see what they think. It's not for me to say who's worthy of the post. If it (Schmidt as Ireland coach) is something that interests people then it's something that might happen."

Schmidt said "I'm not discounting myself" from the running and added: It's a really tough decision. I've massively enjoyed the last three years . . . And I made a commitment to be there next season. So it's a difficult thing for me.

"I said last week I've never not fulfilled my full commitment that I've made and that's why it's a difficult conundrum for me and it's probably a difficult conundrum for Ireland because I've probably caused them more headaches than positive things in the last three years."

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