The one positive for Irish supporters to take from Ireland’s earlier than planned exit from the tournament is that it should ensure Schmidt being Ireland’s coach by the time World Cup 2019 rolls around.
Word from the camp, before Ireland left for home, was that Schmidt would not like to leave his post with “unfinished business”.
In July, Schmidt and the IRFU had discussed the possibility of a contract until 2019 before his one-year extension was announced. Schmidt is however apparently open to a longer deal.
There is also no desire to hitch his trailer to the English Rugby Football Union.
At present, Schmidt and Warren Gatland are the favourites to leads the British & Irish Lions in 2017. Schmidt’s Ireland contract expires just before that tour but the union would not stand in his way were he to seek a job share of sorts as Gatland did in 2013.