Ireland boss Joe Schmidt grateful for "patience" as he makes decision on future

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt

Joe Schmidt has thanked his Ireland bosses for their "patience" while he finalises the decision on his long-term future.

The Ireland head coach's contract expires after next year's World Cup in Japan, and next week he will announce his decision on his long-term movements.

The 53-year-old is expected to return to his native New Zealand after the 2019 World Cup, and is a firm favourite to step into a future All Blacks coaching set-up.

Ireland thrashed the United States 57-14 in Dublin on Saturday to complete a second-straight autumn series clean sweep, with Schmidt afterwards admitting he is very nearly ready to confirm his long-term future plans.

"I'm just incredibly lucky to have the IRFU (Irish Rugby Football Union) with the patience they have," said Ireland boss Schmidt.

"I've committed to a certain time-frame with them and I've stuck to that.

"I've given them an indication and I just need to talk to people tomorrow and that will be made public early next week.

"It might be frustrating for you guys but it's really wrecking my head.

"They've said, 'don't be rash, if you change your mind we'd love to continue that conversation or if you change your mind another way let's talk about that'.

"They've set out about five different scenarios and have been great with me.

"I'm a small cog in a machine.

"I'm so confident that we have such a great group. The last month has been a huge collective effort, and we've worked really hard."