Joe Schmidt at the bedside of the All Blacks before Ireland

Former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has been called in by Ian Foster, coach of the All Blacks affected by Covid-19, the New Zealand Rugby Federation announced on Monday. Schmidt, coach of the Clover XV between 2013 and 2019, reinforces the New Zealand staff after three members of the coaching staff, coach Ian Foster and his assistants Scott McLeod and John Plumtree tested positive. Two players, center or fullback David Havili and center Jack Goodhue, also tested positive.

Anti-Covid rules oblige people who test positive to seven days of isolation from the day the symptoms were detected. Which should leave the field on Saturday for the first test against the Irish. “Joe will be coming for practice on Tuesday and Thursday this week and we are grateful for his help.“said Foster in a statement from New Zealand Rugby. “We had planned for these kinds of disruptions and we had back-up plans and people on standby: Joe was one of those people we could count onadded the All Blacks boss.

Schmidt, 56, former Clermont backs coach, led Ireland for six years, winning the Six Nations Tournament three times (2014, 2015, 2018), Grand Slam at the key in the third and last title.

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