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Leinster Confirm Schmidt As Cheika’s Successor

Leinster Confirm Schmidt As Cheika’s Successor

Leinster Rugby formally confirmed on Monday that Josef Schmidt, the current assistant coach at French side Clermont Auvergne, will become the province’s head coach for the 2010/11 season and has signed a three-year deal.

Josef Schmidt will take over the Leinster coaching reins from Michael Cheika, who had previously announced that he would not renew his contract after five highly successful years with the province.

Schmidt, aged 44, has been backs coach in Clermont in combination with fellow New Zealander Vern Cotter and during his spell with the French outfit the club has reached three successive French Championship finals.

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He previously coached the Auckland Blues in the Super 14 and Bay of Plenty to win the prized Ranfurly Shield.

A former assistant coach to the New Zealand Schools team for four seasons, he is also a former school headmaster.

In addition, Schmidt spent a year in Ireland as a player in the early 1990s when he assisted the Mullingar Club in Leinster.

Leinster will not be making any further comment and will announce the remainder of the new coaching team in the coming months.