CONFIRMED: Conor O'Shea set to take over as Italy coach in June
The Italian Rugby Union has today confirmed that RTE pundit and Harlequins Director of Rugby Conor O'Shea will take charge of their national team from June of this year.
O'Shea has been handed a four-year contract, and as reported by Independent.ie, he will be taking IRFU development chief Stephen Aboud to Italy with him.
Aboud will be tasked with putting together a development plan to nurture Italian rugby's underage talent.
In another interesting move, former England backs coach Mike Catt will take up the same role with the Italian national team.
O'Shea's appointment makes him the only Irishman coaching in the Six Nations, and means that France are the only team who has a native in charge.
O'Shea guided Harlequins to the Aviva Premiership title in 2012, but it was announced earlier this year that he would leave the London club at the end of the current season.
Intense speculation then mounted that the former Ireland fullback would replace Jacques Brunel as Italy coach, with Frenchman departing after four-and-a-half years in charge.