Schmidt was due to start coaching NZ after the home series against Ireland but positive tests for head coach Ian Foster as well as assistants John Plumtree and Scott McLeod forced him to join early; Watch Ireland’s tour of New Zealand live on Sky Sports

Last Updated: 27/06/22 7:28am

Joe Schmidt has been called up to help prepare the All Blacks for their series against Ireland

Joe Schmidt has been called up to help prepare the All Blacks for their series against Ireland

Joe Schmidt has been called up to help prepare the All Blacks for Saturday’s first Test against his former side Ireland at Eden Park after Ian Foster and two of his assistant coaches tested positive for Covid-19.

New Zealander Schmidt coached the Irish for six years from 2013 and his reign included Ireland’s first two wins over the All Blacks.

“Joe will come in for Tuesday and Thursday’s trainings this week, and we’re really grateful to have his help,” Foster said. “We’ve planned for this kind of disruption and we’ve got back up plans and people on standby. Joe was one of those people we could call on.

Head coach Ian Foster was among the positive Covid-19 cases within the NZ coaching set-up

Head coach Ian Foster was among the positive Covid-19 cases within the NZ coaching set-up

“I’ve got every confidence in our coaching group, and in our senior leaders who are all stepping up in what’s a massive test for us. Everyone has had to deal with these kinds of disruptions over the past couple of years. This is a real opportunity for the coaching group and team to pull together.

Foster, John Plumtree and Scott McLeod are isolating at home after positive Covid tests, which has also forced centres David Havili and Jack Goodhue out of the squad camp in Auckland. Their Canterbury Crusaders team-mate Braydon Ennor was called into the squad as midfield cover.

Live International Rugby Union

June 29, 2022, 8:00am

Live on Sky Sports Action HD

Ireland have also had a Covid case in their squad with Australia-born outside back Mack Hansen forced into isolation. Niall Scannell has been called up into the touring squad as cover after hooker Rob Herring and lock Iain Henderson picked up knocks in training and will arrive in New Zealand on Tuesday.

Before Saturday’s opening Test, Ireland will face the Maori All Blacks in Hamilton on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports, in the first of two tour matches they will play in addition to three internationals.

The Maori All Blacks team for the match was named on Monday with Test regulars Brad Weber and TJ Perenara sharing both scrum-half duties and the captaincy, the latter off the bench.

1. Ollie Norris, 2. Kurt Eklund, 3. Tyrel Lomax, 4. Josh Dickson, 5. Isaia Walker-Leawere, 6. Cameron Suafoa, 7. Billy Harmon, 8. Cullen Grace, 9. Brad Weber©, 10. Josh Ioane, 11. Connor Garden-Bachop, 12. Rameka Poihipi, 13. Billy Proctor, 14. Shaun Stevenson, 15. Zarn Sullivan

Bench: 16. Tyrone Thompson, 17. Tamaiti Williams, 18. Jermaine Ainsley, 19. Maanaki Selby-Rickit, 20. TK Howden, 21. TJ Perenara©, 22. Ruben Love, 23. Bailyn Sullivan

Bumper July of rugby on Sky Sports

As well as showing Ireland in New Zealand this summer, Sky Sports will show England’s three-Test tour of Australia, Wales’ three-Test tour of South Africa and Scotland’s three-Test tour of Argentina.

Wednesday, June 29

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 8am (kick off is at 8.05am)

Saturday, July 2

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Live International Rugby Union

July 2, 2022, 7:30am

Live on Sky Sports Action HD

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)

Twitter Due to your consent preferences, you’re not able to view this Privacy Options

Saturday, July 9

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)

Tuesday, July 12

Maori All Blacks vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 8am (kick off is at 8.05am)

Saturday, July 16

New Zealand vs Ireland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30am (kick-off at 8:05am)

Australia vs England – live on Sky Sports Action from 10:15am (kick-off at 10:55am)

South Africa vs Wales – live on Sky Sports Action from 3:30pm (kick-off at 4:05pm)

Argentina vs Scotland – live on Sky Sports Action from 7:30pm (kick-off at 8:10pm)