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O'Shea resigns as Italy rugby coach

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Milan (AFP)

Conor O'Shea has resigned from his role as Italy head coach with immediate effect, the Italian rugby federation announced on Saturday.

The 49-year-old Irishman took over in May 2016 and his contract had been due to run through to the end of May 2020.

"I loved every minute I spent in Italy and I really believe in what we have done and how it can be achieved in the years to come," said O'Shea.

"We have started a process and generated a new, well-founded hope, but I also believe that the end of the Rugby World Cup represents the best time for everyone to make changes in view of the new cycle.

"I built friendships and made experiences that I will never forget.

"I sincerely hope to have left Italian rugby in a better position. The young people who are coming join a system that, by continuing with the right decisions, can only improve in the years to come."

Former Ireland international O'Shea has been linked with a role in the English RFU.

"We are saddened by Conor's decision not to complete the journey as contractually intended," said Italian Rugby Federation president Alfredo Gavazzi.

"We thank him for the commitment and passion with which he has held his own role in these years and we wish him the best professional successes."

Italy failed to progress past the pool stage in the World Cup in Japan.

They beat Namibia and Canada but their match against New Zealand was called off because of a typhoon and they were beaten 49-3 by South Africa.

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