Joe Schmidt: Ireland coach thanks IRFU for 'patience' over his future plans

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Joe Schmidt says decision on Ireland future is 'head-wrecking'

Joe Schmidt has thanked his Ireland rugby bosses for their "patience" while he finalises his future beyond next year's World Cup in Japan.

Ireland's Grand Slam-winning coach will announce next week whether he is going to return home to New Zealand after the World Cup or sign a new Irish deal.

Schmidt is being tipped to step into a future All Blacks coaching set-up.

"I'm just incredibly lucky to have the IRFU," said Schmidt after his team's 57-14 win over the USA on Saturday.

"I've committed to a certain timeframe with them and I've stuck to that.

"I've given them an indication and I just need to talk to people tomorrow and that will be made public early next week."

Andrew Conway goes on a run with Jack Conan on his shoulder at the Aviva Stadium
Andrew Conway notched a hat-trick while Jack Conan also touched down in Ireland's win on Saturday

'No pressure from IRFU'

Schmidt added that the IRFU have in no way pressurised him to make an early decision.

"They've said, 'don't be rash, if you change your mind we'd love to continue that conversation or if you change your mind another way let's talk about that'.

"They've set out about five different scenarios and have been great with me."

Schmidt's largely second-string side recovered from a slow start to score eight tries in Saturday's win over the Eagles.

Munster wing Andrew Conway notched a hat-trick, with Jack Conan, Tadhg Beirne, Stuart McCloskey, Quinn Roux and John Ryan also all crossing as the Irish completed a clean sweep of November wins.

Darren Sweetnam suffered an early back injury which forced Ireland into a total backline reshuffle, denying Joey Carbery the chance for an extended run at fly-half, while Ulster full-back Will Addison was forced off at half-time following a head injury assessment.

Schmidt insisted he was happy with Ireland's display despite the concession of two first-half tries.

"It's a really pleasing result, because the USA are very physical," said Schmidt.

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