Joe Schmidt: Ireland skipper Rory Best wants coach to extend deal

Joe Schmidt has been Ireland coach for three years
Joe Schmidt has been Ireland coach for three years
Six Nations: Ireland v Scotland
Date: Saturday, 19 March Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on ITV, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio Ulster, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Captain Rory Best wants head coach Joe Schmidt to extend his contract and lead Ireland to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Schmidt, whose current contract runs until summer 2017, said he would decide on his long-term future after this summer's tour to South Africa.

Hooker Best hailed Schmidt as one of the best coaches he had worked with and called on the former Leinster boss to remain with Ireland beyond next summer.

"It would be great to keep it together and keep pushing forward," said Best.

Schmidt, 50, led Ireland to back-to-back Six Nations titles in 2014 and 2015 and is hoping his side can clinch a third place finish in Saturday's final round of matches.

They will achieve that if they beat Scotland in Dublin and France fail to beat England in Paris.

Schmidt is experiencing a season without silverware in Ireland for the first time since joining Leinster in 2010.

He guided the Irish province to two Heineken Cup titles, a Challenge Cup triumph and a Pro12 league win before taking the Ireland job.

Six Nations table
Ireland are hoping victory over Scotland will be enough for a third-place finish

If he decides to leave, Schmidt could seek a Super Rugby coaching role in his native New Zealand and start a quest to coach the All Blacks.

Schmidt explained the decision on his long-term coaching future was down to far more than simply the enjoyment factor he gets from leading Ireland.

His son Luke suffers from epilepsy and Schmidt suggested his next move will have as much to do with what best suits his family as anything else.

"There are some factors outside of rugby that tend to dictate for me," said Schmidt. "We will be a little bit further down the track with some of those decisions as well."

Schmidt was appointed Ireland coach in April 2013, taking over from Declan Kidney.

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