Former Ireland coach spoke to Joe on Monday Night Rugby in association with Eir Sport

Former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan believes that Joe Schmidt has already made up his mind as to his future.

Eddie and Keith Wood were on Monday Night Rugby to discuss Schmidt's prospects of staying on as Ireland manager, and also Ireland's 54-7 victory over Italy in Chicago.

 

"I think he has made his mind up already - I am completely speculating here, as I have no more information than anybody else, obviously. I think he has made up his mind, but for him to give his decision this week, it would just become the talking point for the next month and the games would become secondary.

"He will tell us in November; that gives us two months to kick around the decision - whatever it is - and then it is dead in the water by the time of the Six Nations."

Eddie believes that a statement during the IRFU's strategic plan announcement gave away which way the pendulum is likely to swing.

"Let's say he is leaving, and we were looking for a steer on this. It struck me as strange, two weeks ago when they spoke about the strategic plan, and they made the statement that no system is dependent on one person. I think that set alarm bells off for people that Joe Schmidt might say that he won't be around. "

Regardless, Eddie is positive that the decision will not be a death knell for a successful World Cup campaign.

"Everything at the moment is all focused on Japan. That no matter what, all focus will come back onto Japan. If he's leaving, it'll leave him with an extraordinary chance to leave a legacy with Ireland; winning the Grand Slam, beating the All Blacks and now the cherry on the cake would be a semi-final or better.

"I think the lame duck thing will not come into play - there's too much at stake. Players are not for a second going to change their opinions on things for a second."

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