Conor O'Shea: Harlequins boss confirmed as new Italy coach

Conor O'Shea
Conor O'Shea has been Harlequins director of rugby since 2010

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea has confirmed that he will become head coach of Italy.

The 45-year-old had been linked with the role for some time, and in January he had announced he would be leaving The Stoop at the end of the season.

He will succeed Frenchman Jacques Brunel, 62, in the Italy post.

O'Shea said he was "honoured, humbled and excited" to coach Italy, who lost all five of their matches in the recent Six Nations Championship.

"I feel the end of this season is the right time for me to take on a new challenge," he added.

"I am honoured, humbled and excited that I will be working with everyone in Italian Rugby to ensure they can achieve on the undoubted potential they have as a rugby nation."

Mike Catt, who won the 2003 World Cup with England, has been named as attack coach three months after leaving the same post in the wake of England's disatrous 2015 World Cup campaign.

Chris Robshaw Ugo Monye
O'Shea led Harlequins to their first Premiership title in 2011-12

O'Shea, who won 35 Ireland caps between 1993 and 2000, guided Harlequins to the 2012 Premiership title as well as the European Challenge Cup and the LV= Cup during his six years at the club.

Quins are currently sixth in the Premiership with five matches remaining, and will face London Irish, the club where O'Shea spent five years as a player, in the quarter-finals of the European Challenge Cup.

Brunel coached Italy in 50 Test matches after taking over following the 2011 World Cup.