Schmidt is the favourite to replace Declan Kidney, who’s looked after the side since 2008, a long time for an international rugby coach. But his side flopped in this year’s Six Nations and his contract was terminated.

The appointment would make Schmidt the sixth Kiwi at the helm of an international rugby team, including Robbie Deans (Australia), Warren Gatland (Wales), Kieran Crowley (Canada), Milton Haig (Georgia) and, of course, All Blacks boss Steve Hansen (New Zealand).

Schmidt has won two Heineken Cups with Irish club side Leinster,  

“I have had a really good chat with the Irish Rugby Football Union,” Schmidt told The Guardian.

“We know each other pretty well and it is a super job, one of the biggest in the game.”

While the Ireland job is a significant one, it would be less time-consuming than a top-level club spot and give Schmidt more family time with his wife and son, who has epilepsy.

“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,” he said.

The All Blacks are scheduled to play Ireland in Dublin in November.  

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