Joe Schmidt in Glenstal

Irish Rugby coach Joe Schmidt gave an absolutely excellent speech to the entire school as well as parents and friends.

Joe was introduced by Jack Stafford who told us all about Joe’s achievements as a coach in New Zealand, France and Ireland.

Joe started by saying that he looks for values above all else in his players. Accordingly, he told the Glenstal audience that they should form their own values in life and then be driven by them. Life is aimless and without foundation if you do not have principles and values to guide you. Joe warned the students not to follow the easy path but to make value-driven decisions.

Joe spoke about the admiration he has for his son Luke who has epilepsy and who never uses it as an excuse not to do something.

Joe gave some unique insights into what it is like to be Irish coach and the types of issues he faces in dealing with players. He told us about some of the individual players he has coached and the kinds of attributes he looks for in them.

After his talk, Joe took some questions from the floor and was clearly enjoying the banter with the questioners. He answered each question honestly and with great clarity.

Rugby Captain, Tim Costigan presented Joe with one of Br. Denis’ photographs of Glenstal and he was genuinely pleased.

Despite having a team meeting to go to in Limerick, Joe hung around afterwards to talk to everyone and to pose for photos.

He had some intimate words in particular with Sean Fenton with whom he struck up a unique rapport.

What a great occasion for the school to have Joe Schmidt talk to us. He is clearly a man of principles which he articulated with honesty and clarity.

It was clear to all of us that Joe must have a warm relationship with all of his players and staff and that this must be one the factors in his continued success in coaching rugby teams.


It was a great privilege to be there.

Photographs of Joe’s time in Glenstal are in the Photos section.IMG_1844

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