JOE SCHMIDT BECAME an Irish citizen at a ceremony in Dublin today.
The national rugby coach, who is originally from New Zealand, wasn’t the only one officially welcomed into the fold today, with player Richardt Strauss, from South Africa, and the IRFU’s Olly Hodges, from Australia, also being granted citizenship.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald gave a speech in which she praised the contribution the men have made to Irish rugby.
She quoted journalist Anthony Woods as noting Schmidt is “one of the best”.
“People in rugby tell me that Joe does an untold amount of work behind the scenes to support grassroots rugby in Ireland – quietly declining offered payment,” Fitzgerald said.