4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
A squad announcement in relation to this tour will be made after the Lions squad for their tour of Australia is confirmed.
Announcing the appointment of Schmidt, IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne, said: "The IRFU is delighted to announce Joe Schmidt as Ireland head coach following a process which, in the best interests of Irish rugby, allowed us to examine a variety of options and ultimately ensure we secured a world class coach and undoubtedly the ideal person for the position.
"Joe has already delivered significant success to Irish rugby during his time with Leinster and we are confident that this will continue at international level.
"We thank all of those who were involved in this appointment, particularly our colleagues in Leinster, for allowing us the time and space to meet with and ultimately appoint Joe as Ireland's new head coach."
Schmidt commented: "It's an honour to be selected as Ireland head coach. I'm very conscious of the responsibilities that go with the position and look forward to working alongside the players in an effort to meet those responsibilities through the quality of our performance.
"I certainly appreciate the prompt and professional handling of the selection process by the IRFU, especially with regard to my current coaching commitment in Leinster, which I will continue to prioritise over the coming weeks."
|irishrugby.ie Fans' Poll|