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Conor O’Shea In Passionate Defence Of Italian Rugby

A 38-14 loss. Wales victory against Italy today leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table with a -109 point difference and no points. Year on year the calls come for a relegation system to be implemented in the Six Nations, with Georgia knocking on the door in the Rugby Europe Championship.

Conor O'Shea faced the press today and was asked, once again, about Italy's future in the tournament. The Irishman took the job in full knowledge of the vast task ahead of him and has fronted up time and time again when quizzed on it. Today he delivered a prolonged answer to the question of whether they deserve to be in the championship:

It is a great nation. Its got a great rugby tradition. It has earned its right to be here.

While O'Shea said he was not going to launch a stout defense, it certainly had that tone.

O'Shea's move to Italy was certainly a courageous one, but there has been slow signs of improvement. Their U20s beat Wales 7-18 while in the Pro14 Benetton and Zebre have won a combined 12 games this season.

It is a long-term project, but Italy do have a man at the helm who is fully committed.



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