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Homecoming for Ireland coach Joe Schmidt

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

RUGBY

JAKE BELESKI
[email protected]

Ireland have just reached their highest points total in the latest World Rugby rankings and if you’re in Pahiatua next Tuesday you can hear all about how they got there.

Their coach, Joe Schmidt, was raised in Woodville and attended Tararua College, and he will be speaking at the Bush Multisport Park on Tuesday evening.

After Saturday’s series-clinching win over Australia, Ireland consolidated their place in second in the rankings behind the All Blacks, reaching a total of 90.12 points.

The All Blacks (93.99) and Wales (85.94) sit on either side of Ireland.

In winning 10 of their 11 test matches over the course of last season, Ireland accumulated a Triple Crown, Grand Slam and Six Nations title.

Schmidt is part of a wave of Kiwi coaches making their mark with European teams.

Bush Multisport Park facility manager Raylene Treder said it was a lucky series of events that resulted in Schmidt agreeing to make an appearance at the complex.

“He’s actually my nephew’s godfather – that’s how we got him to come.

“They’ve just played in Australia so he’s home to see his family for two weeks.”

Ireland have won three Six Nations titles in five years under Schmidt’s leadership.

His first head coaching role in Europe was with Leinster, beginning in 2010.

He brought plenty of success to the province, reaching six finals and winning four trophies in three years.

He was previously an assistant coach with the Blues and Clermont Auvergne.

Schmidt famously led Ireland to their first win over the All Blacks in Chicago in 2016, ending a run of 28 clashes without a win (27 losses, one draw).

Treder said it was a coup for the community to have someone with so much sporting success willing to speak at the event.

“It’s fantastic – we’re very, very lucky to have him.”

Schmidt will be talking about his success with the Ireland national team, and there will also be a question and answer session.

Labour list MP Kieran McAnulty is expected to be emcee for the event.

The event kicks off at 7pm and tickets can be purchased for $20 from Four Square Eketahuna, the Bush Multisport office, AON Insurance Pahiatua or Caltex Woodville.

Those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

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