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Conor O'Shea humbled by Italy job

By Andrew Baldock

Conor O'Shea says he is "honoured, humbled and excited" to have been appointed Italy's new head coach on a four-year contract that will incorporate the 2019 World Cup.

The 45-year-old Irishman will succeed Jacques Brunel and officially begin work in June, with O'Shea's coaching team confirmed as including former England attack specialist Mike Catt.

Catt returns to rugby after leaving his post as an England assistant coach in December following the host nation's spectacular 2015 World Cup flop.

The Harlequins Director of Rugby's first task will be to help oversee Italy's summer tour to Argentina, the United States and Canada.

The Azzurri this season finished bottom of the RBS Six Nations Championship for an 11th time in 17 years. In a statement, O'Shea said: "I feel the end of this season is the right time for me to take on a new challenge.

"I am honoured, humbled and excited that I will be working with everyone in Italian rugby to ensure they can achieve on the undoubted potential they have as a rugby nation."

Stephen Aboud, currently the Irish Rugby Football Union's head of technical direction, has also been appointed by the FIR as head of training from August.

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