Conor O’Shea has officially brought his stint in charge of Italy to an end after Italian Rugby announced that he would vacate his role with immediate effect.
The Irishman was appointed as Italy head coach in 2016 on a four-year-deal which should have seen him through until May 2020.
However, Italian Rugby Federation president Alfredo Gavazzi informed the federal council that O’Shea would be leaving with immediate effect. There are rumours that O’Shea has a new role line up with the English RFU.
‘We are saddened by Conor’s decision not to complete the journey as contractually intended,’ Gavazzi said. ‘We thank him for the commitment and passion with which he has held his own role in these years and we wish him the best professional successes in the tasks that he will cover.’
Despite only guiding Italy to nine wins in 40 matches, including a first-ever victory over the Springboks, O’Shea’s work with the national team was highly respected.
‘I loved every minute I spent in Italy and I really believe in what we have done and how it can be achieved in the years to come,’ the 49-year-old said.
‘We have started a process and generated a new, well-founded hope, but I also believe that the end of the World Cup represents the best time for everyone to make changes ahead of the new cycle.’
Former Cheetahs head coach Franco Smith will take up a yet-undisclosed role with Italy ahead of next year’s Six Nations campaign.
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