England’s longest-serving coach gave his employers both barrels at Twickenham, then announced that he was leaving to work with a team in the Premier League.
Three years later his French counterpart gave up running the national team as a bad job and walked the plank, resurfacing in the Elysees Palace as a minister in the Sarkozy government.
When to go, or how long to stay, has often proved beyond even the most enduring of the game’s successful coaches.
When push comes to shove, the decision tends to be made for them, a fate that Joe Schmidt has been smart enough to avoid by determining his future on his family’s terms, nobody else’s.
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