Best urges Schmidt to extend his stay

Date published: March 18 2016

Ireland captain Rory Best wants head coach Joe Schmidt to extend his contract past its June 2017 expiry date.

Schmidt has revealed that he will make his decision whether or not to stay on following Ireland's tour to South Africa later this year, noting that he wishes to spend more time with his family.

The former Leinster boss hasn't won any silverware for the first time since taking over from Les Kiss in 2013.  

Schmidt has been coaching in Ireland since 2010 when he was handed the reins at Leinster.

Best, who has made 93 appearances for the Emerald Isle, is keen to continue working with Schmidt.

"Absolutely I'd urge him to stay on: from a player's point of view this coaching staff is one of the best I've ever worked with,and he's one of the best coaches I've worked with," Best told The Irish Times.

"It would be great to keep it together and keep pushing Ireland forward."

The defending champions are playing for a third place finish when they face Scotland in Dublin on Saturday.

"Okay we’re playing for third place tomorrow but to have delivered three championships in two years is not a bad return," added Best.

Ireland's forwards coach Greg Feek has supported Best's wish for Schmidt to remain on.

"I hope Joe stays, I’ve enjoyed working with Joe for the last six seasons, we’ve got a good relationship," said Feek.

"The players and Joe are among the reasons why I'm here. You're always tested, you want to be challenged all the time, you want to grow and you want to see what the next thing will be.

"Joe's already talked about his reasons behind that decision-making but we all get on really well behind the scenes and I hope he stays on."