Wednesday 17 July 2019

Lancaster silent on Schmidt exit

Planning: Joe Schmidt. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Planning: Joe Schmidt. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster was not about to over-react to the IRFU's promise to be ready should Joe Schmidt leave Ireland after the World Cup.

"I genuinely don't put much thought into it at all because I think Joe has still got to decide whether he does or not," he said.

"If he does decide to move on, then there's obviously great candidates internally, who are already doing a good job, i.e. Andy (Farrell) and Simon (Easterby)."

There has been consistent rumours of Farrell and Lancaster being reunited as an acceptable, even the preferred, coaching ticket to take Ireland forward once Schmidt departs the island.

"The timeline is nearly a year, or probably more than a year because Joe's not going to finish in November 2018," said the Cumbrian.

"It's November 2019, and then the next game is January 2020, so I think there's plenty of time for speculation."

Meanwhile, Fergus McFadden will find out this week how long a "high grade" hamstring tear will keep him out of the game. The Leinster and Ireland wing is due to visit a specialist, possibly on Friday, to evaluate the damage done at training last week.

There is a possibility of a period of rehabilitation, failing that surgery that would keep him out for months rather than weeks.

The return to fitness of Dan Leavy from a tight calf and Rob Kearney - he trained fully last Friday - from a tight quad will come as a boost to Leinster on their PRO14 travels to Benetton Treviso on Saturday.

Dave Kearney is already working on repairing an adductor strain that should not keep him out too long.

Ireland coach Schmidt is due to reveal his extended squad for the November series sometime today.

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