Best urges Schmidt to stay


Rory Best has urged Joe Schmidt to stay on as Ireland head coach after the New Zealander revealed he will make a decision on his future following the tour of South Africa.

The 50-year-old masterminded back-to-back Six Nations triumphs in 2014 and 2015 after being named as Declan Kidney's replacement in 2013.

Schmidt signed a one-year contract extension last July to keep him in the role until 2017, but it remains to be seen if he will stay on beyond the end of his current deal.

Ireland have won just one of their four Six Nations matches ahead of their final game of the tournament against Scotland on Saturday, but captain Best does not want to see a new man at the helm.

"Absolutely I'd urge him to stay on: from a player's point of view this coaching staff is one of the best I've ever worked with and he's one of the best coaches I've worked with," said the hooker.

"It would be great to keep it together and keep pushing Ireland forward.

"Okay we're playing for third place tomorrow [Saturday], but to have delivered three championships in two years is not a bad return."

Ireland play three Tests against South Africa in June.