Schmidt leaves Ireland in a better place - Kearney

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"The close working relationship that our current coaching group have and what they will continue to gain over the next year with Joe still at the helm leaves Andy and Irish Rugby in the enviable position of having continuity before building the road forward. No doubt we'll get to speculate on that".

The full list of nominees for World Rugby Men's 15s Player of the Year in association with Mastercard are: Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), Faf de Klerk (South Africa), Rieko Ioane (New Zealand), Malcolm Marx (South Africa) and Johnny Sexton (Ireland).

Ireland have capped off a successful year by sweeping the board at the World Rugby awards in Monaco.

Michaela Blyde of New Zealand is the World Rugby Women's Player of the Year.

"I've said it for a while now, they are certainly one of the sheer favourites for the World Cup".

"They've set out five different scenarios just in case we can sort something out without too much drama".

Carberry's conversion made it 31-14 and then a perfectly weighted crossfield kick from Bryne found McCloskey and he extended the lead to 36-14 with his first Test try, Carberry missing on this occasion. "We are all very proud of him and can't wait to see more of the same in 2019".

Sexton's remarkable year at club and worldwide level saw him win three major competitions, the Pro14, Champions Cup and the Six Nations.

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His stock was significantly improved even prior to yesterday's award win in Monte Carlo after he guided Ireland to a famous 16-9 win against the All Blacks in Dublin.

The 53-year-old New Zealander - named coach of the year on Sunday - says he will take time out of coaching to prioritise his family.

"It's a decision that will probably not be finalised until Sunday, really, ' said Schmidt, ahead of Ireland closing their autumn campaign by hosting the US on Saturday".

Ireland's captain, Rory Best, read out Sexton's speech due to the award victor losing his voice.

Ireland started the match strongly but it was the visitors who grabbed the next score thanks to a well-worked move from the lineout which caught Ireland off guard down the blindside. We have three young kids and she does absolutely everything to allow me to concentrate on the day.

"I look at the nominees and any one of them would have been a worthy victor".

Former dual-code worldwide Farrell has hit back from losing his England coaching job after the 2015 World Cup to star in back-room roles for both Ireland and the British and Irish Lions.

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