Schmidt won’t join Lions staff

Date published: November 11 2016

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 05:  (L-R) Opposing coaches Steve Hansen the head coach of New Zealand and Joe Schmidt the head coach of Ireland chat prior to kickoff during the international match between Ireland and New Zealand at Soldier Field on November 5, 2016 in Chicago, United States.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt says he will not be joining Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions coaching staff.

Schmidt says he did not want to join the coaching staff so he could spend time with Ireland’s young players who won’t tour with the invitational team.

“A big part of the motivation for me not being involved in the Lions was going to the USA and Japan and working with this next cadre of players,” Schmidt said.

“The best of our players will go on the Lions and the more the better. That would be fantastic and hopefully a few more will put their hands up for Warren Gatland on Saturday.

“But the ones that don’t go, they will become a really interesting group for us. And for me, I want to make sure I get to know those guys.

“And getting away on tour is one of the best ways to do it.”

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