Schmidt in talks with Highlanders

Date published: June 12 2016

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 09: Joe Schmidt (Head Coach) during the Ireland national rugby team announcement press conference at Southern Sun, Waterfront on June 09, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images)

Joe Schmidt has been approached by the defending Super Rugby champions, the Highlanders, which could see the current Ireland boss take over the reins as head coach at the Dunedin outfit.

Ireland recorded a first-ever victory over the Springboks on South African soil when they recorded a 26-20 victory at DHL Newlands on Saturday.

The Highlanders CEO, Roger Clark, believes that should Schmidt move back to the country of his birth he could succeed current All Black coach, Steven Hansen.

What makes the victory for Schmidt’s troops even more remarkable is that they managed to pull it off with just 14 men for nearly an hour after CJ Stander saw red for a dangerous tackle.

“I’ve gone round and deliberately contacted coaches like Schmidt overseas and talked to all of them to see what their thinking is around coming back to New Zealand and also coaching the Highlanders,” Clark told The42.ie.

“They’re all looking at the opportunities looking towards 2019. Even though [Steve Hansen] hasn’t committed yet, they know that’s going to be the case. They’re all looking at opportunities towards there.

“They know they’ve got to be coaching Super Rugby and they know there’s not too many options in Super Rugby because we’ve got a number of coaches that are locked in until ’19 now.”

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