'I'm not sure I'll ever go back' - Joe Schmidt throws coaching future into doubt

Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt has said he's unsure over whether or not he'll return to rugby, having vacated his long held Ireland post after this year's World Cup in Japan.

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The former Ireland coach has ruled himself out due to family reasons. Source: 1 NEWS

Schmidt, 54, has now left his role with Ireland after a long and successful stint in the Northern Hemisphere, having experienced Six Nations and Grand Slam glory, achieved the world's number one ranking as well as beating the All Blacks twice.

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At one point touted as a potential All Blacks or the British and Irish Lions coach, Schmidt will take a break from rugby for family reasons, ruling him out of contention to replace Steve Hansen.

However, promoting his new book Ordinary Joe, Schmidt hinted that his time as a rugby coach could now be done.

"I'm not sure I'll ever go back to coaching," the Kiwi told the Daily Telegraph.

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"I just don't know. I want to give myself a bit of distance. I'm emotionally attached. I do take it home with me.

"But it's not like coaching in football where you can potentially accumulate enough to retire permanently. I'll have to go back to work at some stage. I'm just not sure what that will look like."

Schmidt leaves Ireland as one of, if not the greatest coach in the nation's history, a win ratio of 72.60 per cent.