Joe Schmidt to step down as Ireland coach after 2019 World Cup

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They continued their success with a historic home win over the All Blacks in the autumn worldwide series.

Aphiwe Dyantyi with his World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year Award.

Under Schmidt, who was named World Rugby's Coach of the Year on Sunday, Ireland have won three Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam in 2018.

Ireland swept the board in the other major awards, with experienced flyhalf Jonny Sexton notably beating the Bok duo of Malcolm Marx and Faf de Klerk to the player-of-the-year award.

Up next for Sexton may be an away trip to Rodney Parade and a game with Dragons in the Guinness PRO14.

Unsurprisingly, Joe Schmidt picked up the coach of the year award.

Head coach Schmidt's Ireland contract expires after next year's World Cup in Japan, and the 53-year-old is front of the queue to step into New Zealand's coaching ranks if he opts to return home.

Ireland ended a stellar year with the best record of any top-tier test side after a second-string side keen on making an impression ahead of next year's World Cup scored eight tries to beat the United States 57-14.

Johnny Sexton boots Ireland to a win. Pic AAP
Johnny Sexton boots Ireland to a win. Pic AAP

In doing so, Sexton becomes only the second Irishman in history to receive the award after legendary hooker Keith Wood in 2001.

"The coaches have been fantastic to work with and Andy has made a big impact since coming into the group", said Schmidt.

Named Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and Team of the Year respectively, the ceremony capped an incredible year for the men in green, which saw them lose just one match all season.

"They've set out about five different scenarios and have been great with me. Any of them would have been a worthy victor".

Australia's Angus Gardner picked up the Referee Award, with Doddie Weir scooping the Award for Character.

Jessy Tremouliere became the first French victor of the women's player of the year award having helped Les Bleues win the Six Nations Grand Slam.

Perry Baker of the United States was Men's Sevens Player of the Year and New Zealand's Michaela Blyde was Women's Sevens Player of the Year.

Former Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore and New Zealand Sevens legend DJ Forbes also earned special merit awards.

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