Sergio Parisse Gives Brilliant Insight Into Conor O’Shea’s Coaching Methods

Future Ireland boss?

Italy captain Sergio Parisse spoke to the press today ahead of his side’s clash with Ireland in the Six Nations this weekend. The game will see new Italy boss Conor O’Shea go up against his country of birth for the first time and naturally he was a huge talking point.

O’Shea hasn’t been in the job very long, but his influence is already clearly evident, with Italy pulling off a famous win over the Springboks back in November. O’Shea has openly admitted that this is a long-term project, and the Azzuri won’t see overnight success. He has however, already won the approval of the most worshipped man in Italian rugby.

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I find in Conor a coach who has the same vision as me. And it’s an honour for me to work with him.

When he arrived in Italy it was very good news from my personal point of view.

The Stade Francais back-row also provided us with a really interesting insight into O’Shea’s training methods and approach to the Italian set-up.

Conor’s most important challenge is to change our mentality.

Zebre and Treviso play in a very negative environment, losing often. The attitude changes when you have criticism every week and no wins. It’s human nature that you start believing you’re not good enough.

It’s difficult to expect a winning mentality from those players but Conor is so positive.

He has put in place an extremely professional environment with the national team, and we must try to pass this system onto Zebre and Treviso. It’s not easy, but that’s the point.

It’s not always the fault of the players, sometimes it’s that they play every single week in a negative environment, especially in Zebre. Treviso less, but Zebre play in a disaster situation at the moment, so it’s difficult to expect to have players with a positive, winning mentality.

That’s the huge challenge for Conor. We can’t change everything like that [immediately], but for the long-term project it’s important for him to put things in a good way to have the team playing in a good club environment.

If anyone is going to steer Italian rugby in the right direction, it’s Conor O’Shea.