IRELAND rugby coach Joe Schmidt will be made an ‘honorary Corkman’ next month.
The organisers of the annual Cork Person of the Year Award have decided the popular New Zealander should be given the Cork title at the awards ceremony which takes place at The Rochestown Park Hotel on January 18.
Schmidt has become a darling of sports fans for guiding Ireland to two victories over the All Blacks and taking the team to number two in the world rankings.
Journalist Fergal Keane will receive the Hall of Fame award, and RTÉ Nationwide producer Eoin Ryan and presenters Mary Kennedy and Anne Cassin will receive a special award to mark that programme’s 25th anniversary.
“Cork is a big rugby town and county and many Corkonians admire the work of Joe Schmidt in bringing Ireland to a top spot in the world,” said organiser Manus O’Callaghan.
“Cork players have played a big part too in Ireland’s success over recent years, such as Peter O’Mahony, Donncha O’Callaghan, and Ronan O’Gara, all past Cork Persons of the Month.”
Joe Schmidt, who was recently crowned Coach of the Year at the World Rugby Awards, will be introduced on stage by rugby commentator and analyst Donal Lenihan.
As well as beating the All Blacks, Ireland also won a Grand Slam and a test series in Australia.