Former Ireland boss Schmidt is named Wallabies head coach on a two-year deal, taking him through to a showdown with the British & Irish Lions in 2025


The 2025 British & Irish Lions tour just got a bit of added edge with the news that former Leinster and Ireland boss Joe Schmidt will take charge of the Wallabies for the next two years, setting up another showdown with his former assistant, Andy Farrell.

Schmidt most recently served as a selector and then assistant coach for the All Blacks as they made a run to the Rugby World Cup final in France – beating Farrell’s Ireland in the quarter-finals along the way. Today he was named as the successor to Eddie Jones with Australia men.

Read more: Ireland Six Nations squad

Farrell took over as Ireland boss in 2019, replacing Schmidt after another quarter-final exit at the Japan World Cup.

The English coach has since been named boss of the Lions for the tour Down Under, where we’ll see Joe Schmidt v Andy Farrell again, when the first match of the three-Test series between the Lions and Australia kicks off in Brisbane, on 17 July.

Previous moments of Joe Schmidt v Andy Farrell

The pair have faced each other before.

In the 2010-11 season, a Schmidt-led Leinster went all the way to the European title, handily beating Saracens in the pool on the way. Farrell was an assistant coach with the North London club at the time.

The two would be on opposite sides in the Six Nations as Farrell served as assistant to Stuart Lancaster until 2015. After the disaster of the home World Cup, in which England crashed out int he group stages, Farrell headed over to Ireland, where he would link up with Schmidt as his defence coach.

Related: Which coaches will join Farrell’s Lions staff?

The rugby league legend took the Ireland hotseat in 2019 as Schmidt departed, and led the Irish to a Grand Slam in the 2023 Six Nations, as well as overseeing a first-ever series win over New Zealand, in New Zealand.

Schmidt’s All Blacks avenged this in Paris when they edged the Irish 28-24, in an epic barnburner of a World Cup quarter.

What’s been said about Schmidt’s appointment

Rugby Australia director of high performance Peter Horne said of taking on Schmidt as head coach: “It was a unanimous decision to appoint Joe. Everyone on the panel was impressed by his demeanour, his calm and logical approach to the game, as well as his communication style.

“Throughout his career, Joe has demonstrated an ability to take a leadership role in structural reform while developing a strong culture and world-class players.”

The man himself said: “It’s a rebuild that will take a little bit of time and I’m probably a pragmatist. I can’t promise anything other than I’ll be working really hard to try to make it as successful as it can be.

“I’m also a realistic coach – you are judged on your outcomes and you live or die by them.”

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