Joe Schmidt set to pick up Eddie Jones’ pieces as Wallabies boss – report

Dylan Coetzee
Eddie Jones and Joe Schmidt chatting before England v All Blacks clash in 2023.

Eddie Jones and Joe Schmidt chatting before England v All Blacks clash in 2023.

Experienced coach Joe Schmidt is set to be named as head coach of the Wallabies soon, just about three months after Eddie Jones resigned from his role at the helm of the side.

According to reports from both The Roar and the Sydney Morning Herald the deal to bring Schmidt in as the new Wallabies boss is “essentially done” with senior players informed of the decision on Wednesday.

The odds of Schmidt joining the Wallabies improved dramatically when former Ireland director of rugby David Nucifora was brought in as an advisor. The pair worked closely together when the New Zealander was the head coach of Ireland, forming a promising partnership.

Should the appointment go ahead it would see Schmidt go up against his successor at Ireland, Andy Farrell during the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia in 2025 after the Englishman was named head coach of the touring side last week.

Lots of work to do

The Wallabies job is a daunting one considering the state of the game in the country. Jones was brought in last year as a ‘saviour’ for the team which ended up being the complete opposite as the veteran only managed two wins in nine matches on the back of some questionable selections.

The weight of the Australian head coach role has added pressure with the Lions tour in 2025 and a home Rugby World Cup in 2027. Adding to that is the continuous back-and-forth battle with rugby league over the talent in the country. The Wallabies have signed many league players in the past but now we have seen the reverse as talented Mark Nawaqanitawase moved the other way.

A great rugby mind

All of this is a lot to deal with but Schmidt could well be the ideal man to do it. The New Zealander played a big role in Ireland’s success as he laid bricks during his time at the helm allowing Farrell to impressively grow the set-up further.

His influence on Test rugby was also felt during the last World Cup cycle as he came to the rescue of a faltering All Blacks side in 2022 as he joined Ian Foster’s coaching team. Immediately the side improved and a year later the All Blacks very nearly won the World Cup.

It could well be the appointment the Wallabies desperately need going into an important period.

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