Tuesday 26 September 2017

Bradley lands Zebre job on O'Shea's recommendation

Michael Bradley. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Michael Bradley. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Michael Bradley is back coaching in this part of the world after he was appointed as Zebre's new head coach.

The PRO12 Italian strugglers were recently taken over by Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) and their first major move was to select Bradley as the man to change their fortunes.

Conor O'Shea, current Italy head coach, was instrumental in Bradley landing the job and he joins having spent the last four years as Georgia's assistant coach.

The former Munster and Ireland scrum-half spent seven years as Connacht's supremo before spells as Ireland's interim coach, Edinburgh and most recently Georgia.

Bradley won 40 international caps from 1984-95 and was a member of the 1985 Triple Crown team. The Cork native will be eager to further enhance his reputation closer to home.

Bradley has been instrumental in helping improve Georgia and their climb to 12th in the world rankings is a reflection of the work that he has done in his four years in the country.

The FIR confirmed that Bradley (54) had been recommended for the job by his former team-mate O'Shea as the Irish influence in Italy continues to grow.

Former Italian internationals Carlo Orlandi (forwards coach) and Alessandro Troncon (backs coach) have been confirmed as part of Bradley's backroom team.

"Competing in the Guinness PRO12 is a main asset for keeping on developing our elite rugby program and being back in control of Zebre will ensure targets are totally aligned both on and off the field," Alfredo Gavazzi," FIR president Alfredo Gavazzi said.

"The coaching side is totally consistent with our elite rugby targets: Mike Bradley has been suggested by Conor O'Shea in person, has a solid experience both in PRO12 and on the international stage and will grant consistency between Zebre and Italy.

"Orlandi and Troncon are part of our technical project for many years, as Italy's assistants first and within our elite youth pathway then."

Zebre finished bottom of the PRO12 last season, winning just three games and conceding 773 points but Bradley's experience with Georgia should stand to him in what is a tough assignment.

Irish Independent

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