Harlequins have confirmed the much touted appointment of Conor O’Shea as their new director of rugby.
The 39-year-old, formerly a director of rugby with London Irish who has also worked for the Rugby Football Union. Has been out of the sport for the past 18 months, working for the English Institute of Sport.
Quins also considered former Wasps and British and Irish Lions coach Ian McGeechan, former Scotland coach Frank Hadden, South Africa assistant coach Gary Gold and Quins assistant coach Tony Diprose. But they have opted for the former Ireland full-back, who is a highly respected figure in the game despite his recent absence.
O’Shea said: (quote) I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the EIS and it is a shame that I will be moving on at such an exciting and challenging time for the organisation and for sport in this country. But, plain and simply, my passion lies with rugby and my desire to influence at the sharp end of the game has never diminished. So, when approached by Harlequins, a club with an exciting squad, a committed and talented group of coaches and support staff and a stable business model to underpin long-term success, I knew it was a challenge I had to take on. (end quote)
O’Shea retired as a player in 2000 before joining the coaching staff at London Irish. He led London Irish to the Powergen Cup in 2002 and then took up a role with the RFU as director of regional academies before joining the EIS in 2008.
Evans siad of O’Shea: (quote) He combines international playing experience with a proven managerial track record in rugby and elsewhere, we are very confident he has the skill-set we were looking for and will dovetail extremely well with our current playing and management staff. (end quote)