Schmidt abandons dream All Blacks role

Daniel Gilhooly
Ireland have risen from world No 8 to world No.2 during Joe Schmidt's reign as coach

Joe Schmidt has turned his back on a potential dream job in charge of the All Blacks by quitting international coaching.

Through his deeds with Ireland, Schmidt had become the hottest property in world rugby and was the frontrunner to succeed Steve Hansen as coach of the All Blacks after next year's World Cup.

However, the 53-year-old New Zealander shocked rugby followers a day after being named world coach of the year by announcing he will hang up his clipboard completely when the global tournament concludes in Japan next November.

His desire is to prioritise his family, including son Luke, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at age four and suffers from epilepsy.

Hansen has yet to announce if he will stand aside as All Blacks coach after the World Cup, when he will try to steer them to a third-straight title.

If Hansen was to leave, Schmidt was the standout replacement after six triumphant seasons with Ireland, capped by an emphatic win over the All Blacks in Dublin this month.

The landscape has now shifted considerably, with the allblacks.com website on Tuesday noting that: "(Schmidt's) decision immediately rules him out of the possibility of being considered as a potential All Blacks coach in the future."

Hansen's long-serving assistant, Ian Foster, will be a strong contender for promotion if New Zealand hoist the Webb Ellis Cup.

A number of top Kiwi coaches in the northern hemisphere boast compelling CVs, including Warren Gatland, Dave Rennie, Vern Cotter, Jamie Joseph and Pat Lam while two-time Super Rugby-winning Crusaders coach Scott Robertson has the best case among local contenders.

They would have struggled to head off Schmidt, who was an assistant coach with the Blues from 2004-2007 before enjoying domestic success in Europe with Clermont Auvergne and Leinster.

Taking charge of eighth-ranked Ireland in 2013, he has steered them to second in the world after clinching three Six Nations crowns, two wins in their past three Tests against New Zealand and a series victory in Australia.

Schmidt's defence coach and former British rugby league international Andy Farrell will take charge of Ireland after the World Cup.