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Joe Schmidt to Become an All Blacks Selector

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

Written by Max Sharp

New Zealand-owned news outlet has recently alleged rumours of Joe Schmidt replacing Grant Fox, the former All Black, as an independent selector for the national team. The article alleging so was from 13th December.

This news was swiftly confirmed the following day, with the All Blacks' official website releasing a statement to unveil Schmidt as Fox's replacement. Fox is to exit his current contract following the All Blacks' three-test series against Ireland, while Schmidt is to succeed him in the 2022 Rugby Championship.

The exit of Grant Fox will redraw the All Blacks' selection panel to a combination of Schmidt, Ian Foster (Head Coach) and John Plumtree (Forwards Coach). Schmidt is currently signed part-time as a coaching advisor to the Blues, who he formerly featured for, as an Assistant Coach in the 2000's.

Fox, in his decade-long career as an All Blacks selector, oversaw the successful 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign and the test debut of five future All Black captains, including Sam Cane and Beauden Barrett. Fox, as a player, featured for the All Blacks in 46 tests, from 1984 to 1993, scoring 645 points for the team.

Schmidt, 56, has gained a well-regarded reputation throughout his career as a rugby coach, which began when he was an English teacher at Napier Boys' High School. He went on to become an Assistant Coach for Bay of Plenty, the Blues and then overseas for Clermont. Schmidt is best-known by rugby fans for his 10-year stint in Ireland, coaching Leinster before taking over the national team and gaining Irish citizenship in 2015.

Ireland gained their greatest-ever Head Coach from Schmidt's contributions to the team, as they won 13 trophies with his tutelage. Schmidt finished his time as the Irish Head Coach with a quarter-final exit in the 2019 Rugby World Cup, leaving the role with an astounding 72.37% win ratio.

Schmidt's impeccable attention to detail and his thorough experience as a Head Coach will likely have powerful impact on selecting the correct players to achieve the vision of Foster's game plans going forward, especially with the looming 2023 Rugby World Cup.

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