DUBLIN (AP) — Joe Schmidt promises to give a decision on his future as Ireland coach by the end of the month.
Captain Rory Best hopes he recommits to the Irish.
Schmidt is contracted to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, and has been offered a second extension to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Best wants him to take it.
"From a player's point of view, and even from an Irish rugby fan's point of view, you want to see the best coaches staying and he's the best coach I've ever worked with," Best said on Friday, the day before Ireland plays Argentina at Lansdowne Road.
"In my opinion he's one of the best coaches in the world. So that's who you want in charge of the national team.
"But he has got to do what's right for him, and if that is a change then his legacy will go on longer than just the silverware that sits in trophy cabinets."
The silverware is impressive, though.
After success at Leinster, Schmidt took over Ireland in mid-2013, won the Six Nations in 2014 and 2015 and only Ireland's third Grand Slam this year. On his watch, Ireland beat New Zealand for the first time, beat the Springboks in South Africa for the first time, and won a series in Australia for the first time since 1979.
The results have also made the Kiwi attractive back home in New Zealand rugby.
Whether he stays or goes, Schmidt's legacy will last for generations, Best says.
"He has changed Irish rugby and how we perceive performance and preparation. His legacy will obviously be trophies, what Leinster have become, and what Ireland are pushing towards becoming and have achieved. But it will also be about the coaches that he brings through in years to come.
"You maybe won't see that yet, perhaps a little now with Paul (O'Connell) at Stade (Francais). But you'll probably start to see that more and more, as guys have had five, six, 10 years involved with him, start to retire and start to take up that side of the game.
"That will probably be the lasting legacy."
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