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World Rugby have appointed Joe Schmidt as their Director of Rugby and High Performance, with the former Ireland and Leinster coach set to take up the role next month. 

The 2018 world coach of the year will manage a department responsible for the high performance, match officials and technical services functions, including player welfare as well as training and education.

Schmidt has recently been part of World Rugby working groups on player load and the breakdown and his new role will see him continue to be based in Dublin.

“I'm really looking forward to getting started," the New Zealander said of his new job. "I'm passionate about the game and keen that people continue to enjoy being involved in it, from the young to the young at heart.

"The professional game is the showpiece for our sport and involving key stakeholders in our discussions about how the game is played and how players are managed will be beneficial.

“It has been a challenging year thus far and likely to remain difficult for some time, but it has been great to see the resumption of numerous competitions, with plenty of entertaining and exciting matches.”

World Rugby's vice-president Bernard Laporte feels that Schmidt was an ideal fit for the position.

“Joe is a great technician and a big-picture thinker. His expertise is perfectly suited to the High Performance Rugby Committee’s ambition of making the game even more attractive and accessible to all, while ensuring the highest standards of player welfare.

"Having Joe’s world-class level of technical game leadership at World Rugby is essential to drive this vision with stakeholders.”

Team of Us. Everyone In.

Vodafone. The main sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team

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