Conor O’Shea To Be Replaced As Italy Head Coach

New boss.

Cheetahs boss Franco Smith will replace Conor O’Shea as Italy head coach after the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Franco will take charge Italian national side from 1 January 2020 ahead of the Six Nations.

Smith will continue his current role with the Cheetahs throughout the upcoming Currie Cup campaign and his replacement will only take charge ahead of the new Guinness PRO14 season.

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“Franco was offered the opportunity to coach the Italian national side from 1 January 2020.” a Cheetahs statement read

“The Board of Directors is proud of and wishes Franco the best of luck with the opportunity to coach on an international level until the next world cup in 2023.”

“In order to ensure a smooth transition, Franco will remain in the position as Head Coach for Currie Cup, where after the new coach will take over the reins for Guinness PRO14 later in September.”

“The new coach will be part of the coaching structures during Currie Cup to experience the culture. After the Currie Cup, Franco will stay in the fold as Director of Rugby until the end of November 2019.”

What this means for Conor O’Shea remains to be seen. The Irishman has always been seen as more of a Director of Rugby for Italy, working directly with Benetton and Zebre, as well as the national side.

O’Shea could perhaps stay on in a role above Smith, but Italy are yet to confirm.