Sometimes sports stories clobber you with their puzzling links.

Usually a headline like 'Richie McCaw backs Ireland's Joe Schmidt to lead All Blacks' which sits over a British Sky Sports website.

Really? Had Richie over-indulged at the Laureus Awards or was it a case of a foreign correspondent suggesting two plus three equals seven. Me thinks the latter. Why so?

In the body of the yarn a truer picture emerges as McCaw backed Schmidt for a future role with a Super rugby in New Zealand and to progress towards the All Blacks from there.


Schmidt so nearly directed Ireland to a famous win against the All Blacks in 2013 and has a contract through to 2017.

All Black coach Steve Hansen has suggested he's more inclined to give the next World Cup campaign a crack rather than putting his blazer in the closet after the 2017 visit from the Lions. It would also seem reasonable, given their success, that Ian Foster and Wayne Smith will push on for a while.

Then there's Dave Rennie who has added a new layer of coaching and selection sparkle with the Chiefs, Tony Brown who is gathering serious cred with the Highlanders and other Kiwis like Schmidt, Warren Gatland and Vern Cotter who are doing the business in Europe.

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