Former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has agreed to replace Grant Fox as an independent New Zealand selector.

Fox will step down from the role after the Steinlager Series next year, having been a selector for a decade.

Schmidt will take up his position with the All Blacks and assist in selecting the squad for the Rugby Championship after finishing his part-time duties working with the Blues in the Super Rugby Pacific competition.

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster said Schmidt is a shrewd appointment.

Foster said: "Joe will bring a wealth of New Zealand and international experience into the role, so we are delighted to have him join us.

"He will work closely with me and ‘Plums’ [ fellow selector John Plumtree] on selections but his insights will be valuable in other areas as well, so we look forward to having him join us."

The experienced Schmidt said: "It's humbling to be involved and I'm looking forward to learning more about the players and the All Blacks environment and helping out as best I can."

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