New Zealand's Joe Schmidt appears set to get the Irish rugby coaching job, confirming a positive interview and a liking for the terms that come with the position.
British media are suggesting an appointment could be confirmed by the end of the week as Ireland look to replace Declan Kidney, the long-serving coach who finished up after a disastrous Six Nations campaign.
If appointed Schmidt would become the sixth New Zealander in charge of top tier international team.
The other five are Steve Hansen (New Zealand), Robbie Deans (Australia), Warren Gatland (Wales), Kieran Crowley (Canada) and Milton Haig (Georgia).
Schmidt has a proven record and no shortage of admirers in his adopted country. He has won two Heineken Cups during his time in charge of Irish powerhouse Leinster,
"I have had a really good chat with the Irish Rugby Football Union," Schmidt told The Guardian newspaper.
"We know each other pretty well and it is a super job, one of the biggest in the game."
Schmidt felt the national position might allow him more time for his family life where there are pressures with his nine-year-old son Luke suffering from epilepsy.
"One of the things for me at the moment is that I have a seven-day working week," the conscientious Schmidt said of his Leinster role.
"When a national team is in camp it is very busy but it is a job that would give me some flexible time to help and support Luke and my wife."
Schmidt has extended his Leinster deal for another year but a role in the test scene could supplant that.
The All Blacks will play Ireland in Dublin on their northern tour in November.
Schmidt is a former Bay of Plenty coach and Blues assistant coach.
- Fairfax Media
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