Conor O’Shea Says He Enjoyed Plotting Italy’s Ruck Tactics Against England

Italy boss Conor O’Shea says he enjoyed plotting ‘The Fox’ in the week building up to Italy’s Six Nations clash against England.

The clever tactic worked a treat against the English in the first-half of their encounter, bemusing the players. Italy may not have come away with the win, but stopped England from ‘taking them to the cleaners’ as Jones had hoped.

The move, which was suggested by defence coach Brendan Venter, drew some heavy criticism from England head coach Jones, the players and former scrumhalf Matt Dawson.

Speaking to RTÉ 2fm’s Game On, the Italy boss said:

“I think it was just fun. I actually enjoyed myself, I enjoyed the planning for the week.
“I enjoyed seeing it happen. We didn’t know how it was going to work. You never do.
“It’s been employed before, little one-offs in matches but we just decided we’d go for broke and do something completely different from the start.
“I was really proud of the lads, the spirit and mentality that they’ve shown.
“The amount we have to change to make Italy competitive again is huge but we’re learning at the highest level .
“People like to see things that are a little bit different.
“I think it’s just nice that people are probably going to be looking at us the next time we play and say ‘I wonder what they are going to come up with’ and hopefully we’ll have something up our sleeve.”