LONDON (AP) — Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has ruled himself out of contention for the British and Irish Lions job, even though incumbent Warren Gatland is quite happy to let him take over.
"He can have the job if he wants," Gatland said jokingly on Wednesday. "Have you seen the schedule?"
Wales coach Gatland guided the Lions to their first series win in 16 years in Australia in 2013 and is the front-runner to lead them again in New Zealand next year. His main rival is Schmidt, the fellow New Zealander who coached Ireland to the last two Six Nations titles.
The position requires a coach to take an immediate sabbatical from his national team, although the Lions board can be flexible as it was in allowing Gatland to coach Wales in the 2012 autumn tests.