Joe Schmidt drafted in to coach New Zealand

Former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is set to coach New Zealand this week ahead of their first test against Ireland on Saturday.

He’s been drafted in after a Covid outbreak in the All Blacks camp, with head coach Ian Foster one of those to test positive for the virus, along with two of his assitant coaches.

Schmidt was due to start coaching the All Blacks after the series against Ireland, but has been called up to.

Foster said it made sense for Schmidt to come in this week.

“Joe will come in for Tuesday and Thursday’s trainings this week, and we’re really grateful to have his help.”

“We’ve planned for this kind of disruption and we’ve got back up plans and people on standby.  Joe was one of those people we could call on.”

“I’ve got every confidence in our coaching group, and in our senior leaders who are all stepping up in what’s a massive test for us.”

“Everyone has had to deal with these kinds of disruptions over the past couple of years. This is a real opportunity for the coaching group and team to pull together.”

Ireland winger Mack Hansen has also returned a positive test and is isolating.

Meanwhile, Munster hooker Niall Scannell has been called into the Irish squad.

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