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Andy Farrell to step into Schmidt role as Ireland head coach

media Joe Schmidt (right) and Andy Farrell (left). Joe Schmidt (right) has been Ireland head coach since 2013. Andy Farrell (left) will replace him in 2019. Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Joe Schmidt will leave his role as head coach of the Ireland rugby union squad, Irish Rugby Football Union announced on Monday. The 53-year-old New Zealander, who took over in 2013, has guided the team to three Six Nations titles and two notable wins over the world champions New Zealand.

Schmidt was drafted in as head coach after a successful spell at the Irish provincial team Leinster where he won successive European Cups in 2011 and 2012.

He will be replaced after next year's World Cup in Japan by the defence coach Andy Farrell.

Schmidt says he will spend more time with his family. "I have decided to finish coaching and will prioritise family commitments after the World Cup in 2019," Schmidt said. "I feel that Irish rugby is in good hands.

"The management and players have been incredible to work with and the tremendous support we have had, particularly at home at Lansdowne Road, and wherever we have travelled has been uplifting."

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