Portrait of Joe Schmidt

Penguin Ireland is delighted to announce the publication of Joe Schmidt's Ordinary Joe on 21 November 2019.

In the Autumn of 2010, a little-known New Zealander took over as head coach at Leinster. He had never been in charge of a professional team.

Nine years on, as Coach Joe Schmidt has achieved success on a scale never before seen in Irish rugby. Two Heineken Cups in three seasons with Leinster. Three Six Nations championships in six seasons with Ireland, including the Grand Slam. And a host of firsts: the first Irish victory in South Africa; the first Irish defeat of the All Blacks and Ireland’s first number 1 world ranking. Along the way, Schmidt became a byword for precision and focus in coaching, remarkable attention to detail and the highest of standards.

But who is Joe Schmidt? In Ordinary Joe, Schmidt tells the story of his life and influences: the experiences and management ideas that made him the coach, and the man that he is today. Also including his diaries of the 2018 Grand Slam and 2019 Rugby World Cup, it provides a brilliantly intimate insight into the stresses and joys of coaching a national team in victory and defeat. Ordinary Joe reveals an ordinary man who has helped his teams to achieve extraordinary things.

Michael McLoughlin, Publisher at Penguin Ireland said: ‘It is a real honour to publish Joe Schmidt’s book. We are particularly pleased that Joe has written it himself over the past couple of years. We think it gives real insight into the man behind the public image. Joe Schmidt has done more for Irish rugby than any other single coach and it is a legacy that will prevail.’

Joe Schmidt shared his thoughts on writing an autobiography: 'I was hesitant about putting my memories and thoughts into words but was encouraged to do so by a number of people close to me. I’m an accidental coach and feel incredibly lucky to have worked alongside great people and to have had the opportunities that I’ve had. Coaching in New Zealand, France and Ireland has been both challenging and rewarding, but the support from everyone and particularly the fans has been phenomenal. It is something I really appreciate.'

Ordinary Joe by Joe Schmidt will be published on Thursday 21 November. You can pre-order it on Amazon and Eason now.

  • Ordinary Joe

  • 'He's a great coach. He lives and breathes the game. There's nothing he doesn't know.' Brian O'Driscoll

    'The best coach Irish rugby - arguably Irish sport - has ever had'
    Malachy Clerkin, Irish Times

    In the autumn of 2010, a little-known New Zealander called Joe Schmidt took over as head coach at Leinster. He had never been in charge of a professional team. After Leinster lost three of their first four games, a prominent Irish rugby pundit speculated that Schmidt had 'lost the dressing room'.

    Nine years on, Joe Schmidt has stepped down as Ireland coach having achieved success on a scale never before seen in Irish rugby. Two Heineken Cups in three seasons with Leinster. Three Six Nations championships in six seasons with Ireland, including the Grand Slam in 2018. And a host of firsts: the first Irish victory in South Africa; the first Irish defeat of the All Blacks, and then a second; and Ireland's first number 1 world ranking.

    Along the way, Schmidt became a byword for precision and focus in coaching, remarkable attention to detail and the highest of standards. But who is Joe Schmidt? In Ordinary Joe, Schmidt tells the story of his life and influences: the experiences and management ideas that made him the coach, and the man, that he is today. And his diaries of the 2018 Grand Slam and the 2019 Rugby World Cup provide a brilliantly intimate insight into the stresses and joys of coaching a national team in victory and defeat.

    From the small towns in New Zealand's North Island where he played barefoot rugby and jostled around the dinner table with seven siblings, to the training grounds and video rooms where he consistently kept his teams a step ahead of the opposition, Ordinary Joe reveals an ordinary man who has helped his teams to achieve extraordinary things.

  • Pre-order the book

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