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Published: 09:38 | 17/6/16

Schmidt focused on Ireland


Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has yet to reach a decision on his future but insists he has made no commitment to Super Rugby’s reigning champions the Highlanders.

Schmidt is contracted to the IRFU until the end of June 2017 but he has the option of remaining in the position until after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and will inform the union of his intentions when he returns from the three-Test tour of South Africa.

It emerged last week that Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark had spoken to Schmidt about succeeding Tony Brown next summer but, for now, Schmidt's sole focus is on Ireland's meeting with the Springboks at Ellis Park.

"This is the full focus of my attention and the one thing I want to do is, no matter what happens in the future, is leave Irish rugby in as good a shape as possible. If that's this time next year or if it's in three years' time, I'm not sure," Schmidt is quoted as saying in the Irish Independent.

"This is something we've got to try to do and we're investing a lot of time and effort into, as are the players, into trying to be as good with a broader group as we can be. This was always a chance for us to broaden (the squad). The coaching group, as it is, are in great shape. I have less and less to do with it.

"I have made absolutely no commitment to the Highlanders, I've made no commitment to anyone other than my current employers."

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