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Conor O'Shea confirmed as RFU Performance Director

The English Rugby Football Union have confirmed Conor O'Shea as their new Director of Performance...

The English Rugby Football Union have confirmed Conor O'Shea as their new Director of Performance Rugby next year.

In a recent appearance on OTB AM Conor O'Shea was tight-lipped on his next career move, given the scope of the role, that was unsurprising.

The former Irish international will be responsible for the leadership, management and strategic direction of the professional game in England.

The aim of his role will be to support long-term sustainable success at international level. The 49 year-old will manage the England player, coaching and match officials "pathways" across men’s and women’s programmes.

Conor O'Shea will report to CEO Bill Sweeney, managing an extensive portfolio. The ex-Italy coach will oversee "performance rugby operations."

These include the management around the Professional Game Agreement, Greene King IPA Championship, Tyrrells Premier 15s, Rugby Players Association, medical governance and player welfare, sports science, anti-doping and competition frameworks.

He will work closely with England men’s head coach Eddie Jones. The England team remains the responsibility of Jones who also reports directly to Sweeney.

Conor O’Shea resigned this month as head coach of the Italy men’s team having coached the national side since 2016. The former Ireland international was previously director of rugby at Harlequins.

It's not O' Shea's first stint at the RFU having previously worked at the RFU as director of regional academies between 2005 and 2008.


Conor O’Shea said: “I am privileged and honoured and it is an incredible opportunity to join at a really exciting time for English rugby.

“I’ve spent the last four years in Italy, six years at Harlequins and before that 10 years at London Irish, so I feel I know the system pretty well.

"The good times, the bad times, winning things and being competitive, so I can relate to the people and challenges that happen within our system. I have learned a huge amount internationally in the last few years as well.

“There is an exciting vision at the RFU. It is not just about winning tomorrow, but also about sustaining success and winning long into the future.

"We can really look forward to rejuvenating and re-energising the performance pathway to help, support and push England rugby on.

"As well as our relationships with all stakeholders, it’s about women’s rugby, Sevens, referees and coach development, which is absolutely fundamental.


“There has been some fantastic work done over a long period of time in these areas and there have been some challenges for various reasons as well.

"Now hopefully there is an opportunity to have stability, with the ability to invest and really push forward and challenge ourselves to become better.

"We are here to provide a sustainable winning environment and I hope I can play my part in creating that.”


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