Schmidt re-signs until June 2017

Date published: July 22 2015

Ireland fans have been given a boost as the IRFU announced that Joe Schmidt has signed a new contract to remain as head coach until June 30, 2017.

Since taking on the role of head coach Schmidt and his coaching team have won back-to-back Six Nations Championship titles and a first Test Series win in the Southern Hemisphere.

Ireland were unbeaten during the 2014 November Series which included victories over South Africa and Australia.

Since Schmidt was appointed in 2013, 56 players, including 14 new caps, have represented Ireland.

The team has achieved a 78 percent win ratio with 14 wins and four losses from the 18 Test matches played to date.

Ireland were ranked eighth in the World Rugby rankings in October 2013 and are currently ranked third.

Announcing the extension of Schmidt's contract, IRFU Performance Director, David Nucifora said: "We believe that Joe is one of the leading coaches in world rugby so we are delighted that he has extended his contract and will continue to work in Irish Rugby until the end of the 2016/17 season.

"Outside of his national team duties, Joe has contributed to the development of indigenous coaches across the provincial and underage structures as well as having a positive input into the Ireland U20s and Women's squads."

IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said: "Joe embodies the core values of the IRFU in what he does and his commitment to the national team is mirrored by his support of rugby clubs and schools.

"He is a tremendous ambassador for our game and will continue to be a vital asset to Irish Rugby over the coming years."

Ireland head coach Schmidt commented: "I appreciate the support I have had from the IRFU and look forward to the next two challenging years with the national team.

"It has been great to be involved in such a player driven environment, along with such a skilled and positive staff to support them in their quest to be as competitive as possible."