Rugby: Former Wallabies fullback Greg Martin slams Joe Schmidt's appointment as new Australia coach

Joe Schmidt's appointment as Wallabies head coach hasn't gone down well in some parts of Australia.  

The Kiwi has been confirmed as Eddie Jones' successor, signing a two-year deal to take the helm of the national team, who are currently ranked ninth in the world, after a historic World Cup failure last year.  

Schmidt, 58, is the third Kiwi to take charge of Australia, but faces arguably the biggest task of all in preparing for a British & Irish Lions tour in 2025.

Ian Foster and Joe Schmidt.
Ian Foster and Joe Schmidt. Photo credit: Getty Images

Robbie Deans helmed the side in 75 tests between 2008-13, winning 44, while Dave Rennie coached Australia 33 times, winning 12, before he was sacked at the start of last year.     

With Schmidt appointed head coach ahead of any local contender, reaction to another Kiwi taking charge of the Wallabies has been mixed.  

Speaking to Triple M radio, former Australia fullback Greg Martin came out swinging at Schmidt's appointment and instead pointed out current Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham as the ideal candidate.  

"We've had two Kiwis and both times it's ended in tears, and we're about to go down the same track," he said.  "We needed Stephen Larkham, we needed a bloke who has won a World Cup, who is an Australian.  

"We're going to overlook another Australian... for another Kiwi to coach Australia, bad move in my mind.

"We'll get beaten by the Kiwis in July and August, and everyone will go, 'Oh well, that was a dud'. We'll sack him and we'll be back in the same position again."  

Martin isn't alone in his criticism. At the end of 2023, Australian-born Ireland winger Mack Hansen urged the national union not to appoint Schmidt, saying a coach with local knowledge would be in a better position to take the Wallabies forward.   

Schmidt has signed on until the end of the 2025 season and indicated he will vacate the role after that to allow his successor ample time to prepare for the 2027 World Cup in Australia.