Conor O’Shea has refused to rule out the possibility of replacing Jacques Brunel as Italy coach, following his departure from Harlequins this summer.
The Harlequins rugby director confirmed he will leave the Twickenham Stoop at the end of the season, after six years at the helm.
O’Shea guided Quins to their maiden Aviva Premiership title in 2012, while also scooping the European Challenge Cup and LV=Cup at the club.
Italy confirmed on Wednesday that they will name their new head coach after the Six Nations, with O’Shea now expected to succeed former Perpignan boss Brunel.
“I don’t know what the next move is — I’ll see,” O’Shea told Sky Sports News.
“There’ll be plenty of opportunities. I’ll make that decision as and when, and it may be made for me in many ways. Whether it’s Italy or not will be for them to consider, not for me.”
Italy coach Brunel had initially been tipped to leave his post immediately following the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but has remained on board to see the Azzurri through the Six Nations.
That has allowed the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) to bide their time in the pursuit of O’Shea, their preferred candidate for the head coach’s role.
An Italy spokesman told the Press Association: “We will announce the new head coach after the Six Nations.” Thus, reconfirming Brunel’s departure and opening the door for O’Shea.
ESPN.com – RUGBY