The Irish are not fond of long goodbyes.
The announcement of a departure for any reason is typically met with, “Well, off with you then.”
Yet, Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt, as a New Zealander, is probably unaware of the Irish fondness for brevity, something of a surprise, since it is a character trait of islanders the world round.
Schmidt could have been handed the All Blacks if Steve Hansen goes in another direction following the 2019 World Cup, but Schmidt has instead chosen to abandon the game entirely after World Cup.
If the World Coach of the Year accolade was a prelude to an Irish World Cup, with Schmidt making his exit at the top, he could have held off on the announcement, although the timing may be designed to inspire his players to, “Win one for the Schmidty.”
Following the example of some in rugby, it could have been though that he wanted to take a NFL coaching job, but his reasons for moving on appear to revolve around his family.
It is not a foregone conclusion that Hansen is done with the All Blacks and a third consecutive World Cup title might steer him in the direction of seeing how many he could accumulate.
The All Blacks’ website wasted no time in ruling Schmidt out for future consideration.
“(Schmidt’s) decision immediately rules him out of the possibility of being considered as a potential All Blacks coach in the future.”
Maybe their website administrator is Irish, making the statement the rough equivalent of, “Well, off with you then.”
So with Schmidt out of the coaching equation, and let us mention that a year until the end of the 2019 World Cup is a long time, speculation about who will manage the All Blacks is premature.
If Hansen leaves, his successor had better hope for no fall off, that much is certain.
Schmidt has guided Ireland, over the course of his tenure, from eighth to second in the world and his successor has already been named, Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell.