O'Shea persuades Venter to extend his stay with Italians
Conor O'Shea has secured the services of in-demand Brendan Venter as Italy's defence coach until the 2019 World Cup.
Former Saracens boss Venter had been linked with joining the backroom team of his native South Africa, but O'Shea convinced his former London Irish team-mate to extend his role with the Azzurri.
O'Shea hailed Venter's decision to remain with Italy as a real boost ahead of the Six Nations.
"I played and worked with Brendan at London Irish and I believe that this agreement is the best it can be, for us and for him," said O'Shea. "Brendan has had a great impact on the group and we are excited to be working with him for years to come.
"He is a coach respected by the whole international rugby scene and we are proud that he wanted to commit until the next World Cup."
Italy's rugby chiefs confirmed that qualified doctor Venter's deal will allow him to continue to practise medicine in South Africa between Test rugby windows.