All Blacks vulnerable after loss to Ireland, Wallabies, Peter FitzSimons

Joe Schmidt congratules Ireland fullback Rob Kearney after their win over the All Blacks in Chicago

Meanwhile, with the Rugby World Cup coming up in Japan next year, betting interest in Ireland is through the roof, with New Zealand coach Steve Hansen suggesting the Irish should now be considered favourites.

Ireland will be boosted by the "chase" of New Zealand still holding onto their world number one ranking according to Luke McGrath as he heaped praise on Wigan RL legend Andy Farrell.

But the world champions could score just one more penalty.

Hansen now boast a win record of close to 90 per cent, and would likely be offered a renewal by New Zealand Rugby.

Asked if Hansen's words should be viewed as kidology, Schmidt said: "I think he probably enjoyed a little bit of banter".

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Confirming he watched Ireland's breakthrough victory over the All Blacks at Chicago's Soldier Field at home, Stockdale added: "I was still in the Ulster academy at that point, and had barely played for them. We had the fantastic crowd right behind us so there were lots of things stacked in our favor".

"Internally, we know the quality of players we've got, we know the quality of training and quality of coaches we have, and everything that is done around us is done to the highest standard possible".

"It's pretty collective when we put our heads together so, you know, I'd love to say I'm a really important part of it but it is very much a machine and a consensus, very often".

"People will I suppose postulate about who's where, who's favourite".

Among those favoured to replace him is Kiwi Schmidt, whose success with Ireland can't be ignored and who is yet to commit to any post-World Cup plans. "For me it was block out the pressure and go round doing what I do well for the team".

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Barrett is bidding to become the first player to win the prestigious award three times in succession and had initially been priced up at the bookies' 5/4 favourite, with Sexton having been 7/4 with Paddy Power.

Other favourites for the position should Hansen step away include All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster, who has worked under Hansen since 2012, and Montpellier coach Vern Cotter, who interviewed for Hansen's position after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

On the Stuff website, rugby writer Mark Hinton was in no doubt Schmidt should be the next All Blacks coach as his "magnificent Ireland rugby team are now assuredly the best side on the planet".

Following the historic win over the All Blacks, a number of players will be "managed" across the week ahead of Ireland's final test of the series, against the US on Saturday.

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