Shaun Oneill


Shaun Oneill


JOE Schmidt, who led Ireland to three Six Nations titles and helped them become the No. 1 ranked team in the World, will guest at a fund raising evening for Ballymena Academy this November.

The 56-year-old New Zealander, who steps down as World Rugby’s Director of Rugby and High Performance at the end of this year, will attend the function in Galgorm Resort and Spa on Friday, November 5.

There is still a small number of tickets available, priced £85 per person.

Anyone wishing to purchase should contact Ballymena Academy’s Marketing and Alumni Manager on marketing@ballymenaacademy.

Schmidt spent six years at the helm of Ireland rugby, between 2013 and 2019.

He is unquestionably Irish rugby’s most successful coach.

His coaching career includes winning consecutive European Cups with Leinster before taking the international job and sealing a Grand Slam in the 2018 Six Nations.

Organisers of the Academy fund raiser hope it will be third time lucky arranging the date as the previous two both fell foul of Covid-19.

The ‘Joe Schmidt Gala Dinner’ was originally to have taken place on Friday, April 24, last year at Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort.

It was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the new date was to have been Friday, November 13.

It, too, had to be axed - but all being well the evening will go ahead this November.

Fifty-six-year-old Schmidt is no stranger to Ballymena Academy, having guested there back in 2015.

In the promotional flyer it said the gala fund raising dinner would feature “an evening of fascinating conversation and insight with the most successful coach in Irish Rugby history.”

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