Joe Schmidt: Ireland aim to extend coach's deal until 2019 World Cup

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt
Joe Schmidt has guided Ireland to successive Six Nations titles

Irish rugby bosses have opened talks with Ireland coach Joe Schmidt with the aim of extending the New Zealander's contract until the 2019 World Cup.

Schmidt's current Ireland deal expires at the end of next season.

The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) know that Schmidt, 49, is likely to be a man in demand after guiding Ireland to back-to-back Six Nations triumphs.

"We're in discussions with Joe," the IRFU chief executive Philip Browne told the Irish Independent.

"He's just off the back of the Six Nations and he's been away and I'm sure those discussions will come to some sort of conclusion over the next couple of months."

Schmidt guided Leinster to two Heineken Cup triumphs, two Pro12 titles and a European Challenge Cup success during his three seasons with the Irish province.

He then steered Ireland to the Six Nations championship during his first 12 months in charge in 2014 and his team retained that title last month following a successful autumn campaign which included wins over South Africa and Australia.

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