Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has given the strongest hint about where his future lies beyond the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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Speaking in the aftermath of Ireland’s 57-14 win over the USA, where his side scored eight points, I asked whether he was any clearer on his future.

“We’re not any clearer, just incredibly lucky to have the IRFU with the patience they have. I committed to a certain timeframe with them and I’ve stuck to that.

“I’ve given them an indication and I just need to talk to people tomorrow and early next week, it will be made public. It might be frustrating for you guys but it’s really wrecking my head. I want it to be one or the other really.”

But when asked by RugbyPass to clarify whether IRFU know his decision, Schmidt responded: “A little bit, yeah. And 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 we don’t need to have a conversation, or if we just continue as we are, that’s great.’

“They’ve set out five different scenarios just in case we can sort something out without too much drama.”

It now looks increasingly likely that Schmidt will walk away, with a formal decision expected on Monday.

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Schmidt has led Ireland to unprecedented success since he took over five years ago, winning the Six Nations three times, including the Grand Slam in 2018. Ireland also secured a series success Down Under over the Wallabies for the first time since 1979.

They’re now ranked number two in the World Rugby rankings and beat the All Blacks 16-9 last weekend. It was his second success over New Zealand, following their historic 40-29 victory in Chicago in 2016.

Their win over the USA completed a clean sweep of victories during November, with success over Italy and Argentina too.

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