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Conor O'Shea has resigned as head-coach of the Italian rugby team after three years in the role.

The former Ireland full-back was contracted with the Azzurri until the end of the 2020 Six Nations but the Italian Federation has accepted his decision with "regret".

O'Shea's last game in charge was Italy's 49-3 defeat to eventual champions South Africa at the Rugby World Cup and he's now being linked with a role with England.

"I loved every minute I spent in Italy and I really believe in what we did and how it can be achieved in the years to come," the 48-year-old said of his departure.

"We have started a process and generated a new, well-founded hope, but I also believe that the end of the Rugby World Cup represents the best time for everyone to make the changes in view of the new cycle. I built friendships and made experiences that I will never forget.

"The job of all of us is to leave the shirt in a better place than the one in which we found it, I sincerely hope to have left the Italian rugby in a better position. The young people who are coming join a system that, by continuing with the right decisions, can only improve in the years to come."

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