Conor O Shea

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Temporary Italy boss Franco Smith with new captain Luca Bigi. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Overview Saturday February 28th, 2015. Barack Obama was still in the White House, nobody knew what Brexit was and Ireland were still adjusting to lif(...)

The men’s and women’s captains at the launch of the Guinness Six Nations Championship in London on Wednesday. From left:   Siwan Lillicrap (Wales),  Giada Franco (Italy),  Luca Bigi (Italy),  Stuart Hogg (Scotland),  Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales),  Sarah Hunter (England),  Charles Ollivon (France),  Owen Farrell (England),  Gaëlle Hermet (France), Ciara Griffin (Ireland) and  Rachel Malcolm (Scotland).  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

With four new coaches, predicting the winner of this Six Nations is a tricky business. We have very little information on what game plan the new coach(...)

RBS 6 Nations Championship, Twickenham:  England vs Ireland and  Ireland’s Stuart McCloskey debut. Photograph:  INPHO/Dan Sheridan

CJ Stander, Ultan Dillane, Stuart McCloskey, Josh van der Flier, Finlay Bealham, Niall Scannell, Andrew Conway, Jordan Larmour and Jack Carty share a (...)

Leinster’s James Ryan celebrates victory over Glasgow in last season’s Pro14 final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The conversation is brief. But at times it seems as if James Ryan feels he is being coaxed down a rabbit hole. His natural stillness, his unflappabili(...)

 Ian Madigan: has slipped down the pecking order at  Bristol Rugby and looks set to be moving on again next summer. Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Turns out the grass isn’t always greener. Bundee Ali and Kiernan Marmion appear to agree by rejecting lucrative moves abroad when re-signing last week(...)

Franco Smith is the new interim head coach in Italy. Photograph: Getty Images

Italy have announced former South Africa international Franco Smith as interim head coach for the 2020 Guinness Six Nations. Smith replaces former H(...)

  Conor O’Shea has resigned from his role as Italy head coach with immediate effect. Photograph:  Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty Images

Italy coach Conor O’Shea has resigned with immediate effect six months before his contract was due to expire, the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) has (...)

Rassie Erasmus, the South Africa head coach, holds aloft the Webb Ellis Cup after their victory over England in the World Cup Final in  Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Springboks issues: History is initially written by the victors but that does not mean glaring concerns surrounding the Springboks should be ignored.(...)

Joe Schmidt: “Any 23 can play very well against the All Blacks and not get the result,” said Schmidt before New Zealand thrashed Ireland 46-14. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

To the bitter and largely unexplained end, Joe Schmidt remained the same. It was all about control. Control of the young players who, like life in a 1(...)

Conor O’Shea: “They [Ireland] have belief in that there is a benchmark, as these players have beaten New Zealand. But I think the All Blacks are an unbelievable rugby team.” Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

At the beginning of the end of Italy’s waylaid World Cup campaign, a South African journalist suggested trickery on behalf of their head coach. “Unco(...)

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