Highlanders CEO Roger Clark has confirmed he’s pursuing the services of Joe Schmidt
The reigning Super Rugby champions this week appointed Tony Brown as Jamie Joseph’s successor for next year
Clark also suggested that coaching the Highlanders could eventually lead to the All Blacks job
Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark has confirmed he has held talks with Ireland coach Joe Schmidt about taking over the franchise in 2018.
“I’ve gone round and deliberately contacted coaches like Schmidt overseas to see what their thinking is around coming back to New Zealand and also coaching the Highlanders,” Clark said.
“They’re all looking at the opportunities looking towards then (2019). They know they’ve got to be coaching Super Rugby and they know there’s not too many options in Super Rugby because we’ve got a number of coaches that are locked in until ’19 now.”
Schmidt, a former Bay of Plenty coach and Blues assistant, has made a name for himself in Europe since leaving New Zealand in 2007.
He guided Irish club Leinster to back-to-back European titles before doing the same with the national side in the Six Nations in 2014-15.
The 50-year-old comes off contract with Ireland next year and while they would dearly love to re-sign him until the 2019 World Cup, Schmidt has indicated that he could return home due to family reasons.