Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Joe Schmidt named new Australia head coach in deal through to end of 2025 British and Irish Lions tour -Dlight News

Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has been announced by Rugby Australia as the new Wallabies head coach.

Schmidt coached Ireland from 2013-2019 where he won the Six Nations and was recognised as the World Rugby coach of the year in 2018. Prior to that he was a multiple trophy winner with Leinster.

The 58-year-old will face Andy Farrell, who replaced him as Ireland coach, when the British and Irish Lions return next year under the direction of the Englishman. The 2025 tour to Australia is live on Sky Sports.

Schmidt was more recently an assistant coach for the All Blacks from 2022 and during their runners-up finish in the World Cup last year.

Schmidt signed a two-year deal with Australia and takes over from former England coach Eddie Jones who left the role after the World Cup.

Rugby Australia (RA) chief Phil Waugh said Schmidt’s coaching background and experience was a significant reason for his appointment.

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Joe Schmidt was first a selector and then attack coach with New Zealand

He said: “Given our stated plan to build a unified Australian Rugby system, Joe’s experience with Ireland and New Zealand – two of the most aligned Rugby nations in the world – will no doubt prove valuable as we move forward.

“He has a global view of the game from his experience in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, and his appointment puts us in a strong position as we build towards the 2025 British and Irish Lions Tour.”

Schmidt said he is looking forward to starting in the role after a slump in Australian rugby in recent years.

He said: “I am conscious that the Wallabies have weathered a difficult period, and I am keen to help them build a way forward, with greater alignment and clear direction from RA.

“The upcoming Test matches against Wales will arrive quickly, post-Super Rugby, and the program through to the British and Irish Lions Tour next year presents plenty of opportunities and challenges – which I am sure will invigorate players and staff.”

The Wallabies failed to progress through the group stage in the World Cup, losing to Wales and Fiji, and have won just three of their last 10 matches.

Sky Sports to show 2025 British & Irish Lions tour of Australia

Sky Sports will exclusively show the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, with all three Tests and six warm-up matches to be shown live.

The agreement sees Sky Sports broadcast its eighth consecutive Lions Tour, with the partnership starting in 1997 with the iconic 2-1 series win over South Africa.

The Lions tasted success the last time they were on Australian soil in 2013, with a dramatic 2-1 series win following a memorable performance in the decisive final Test.

Having been defeated in a Covid-impacted tour of South Africa back in 2021, the Lions will be aiming to make it a second successive series win in Australia as they kick off the first Test at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

The Lions will play nine games on tour all around Australia, beginning against Western Force in Perth on June 28, 2025.

Further tour games follow against Queensland Reds in Brisbane on July 2, the Waratahs in Sydney on July 5, the Brumbies in Canberra on July 9, an Invitational Australia & New Zealand side in Adelaide on July 12 and the Rebels in Melbourne on July 22.

That game will take place after the opening Test in Brisbane on July 19, with the second Test at the MCG in Melbourne on July 26 and the final Test in the Accor Stadium in Sydney on August 2.

The Lions will also play in Ireland for the first time as they take on Argentina in a June 2025 warm-up fixture, also live on Sky Sports, ahead of their tour of Australia.

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