Conor O'Shea to Leave Harlequins

Harlequins head coach Conor O’Shea has decided to leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires.

O’Shea has been the Director of Rugby at Quins since 2010, after Dean Richards resigned following the ‘Bloodgate’ scandal. O’Shea previously coached London Irish from 2000 to 2005.

O’Shea has had this to say on the Harlequins website: “I will have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to contribute to this special Club for over six years come May.

Conor O’Shea to leave Harlequins

“I have enjoyed working with everybody at Harlequins, from the players to the staff to the supporters, having said that, the end of this season is the right time for me to move on.

“We have a very talented group of players and coaches who are intent on securing silverware this season and that is my sole focus and where all our efforts are concentrated.  I will say my goodbyes when the season is over.”

Harlequins currently sit in third position in the league standings, just six points off top-placed Saracens and nine points ahead of Northampton in fifth place. Therefore they are comfortably positioned in the play-off places. They have won six of their nine league games. Their last league game involved an extremely impressive performance to defeat, the then unbeaten, Saracens in a 29-23 thriller at The Twickenham Stoop. They also sit top of their European Challenge Cup group, having won all five group games with a try bonus point in each.

His biggest achievement with Harlequins came in the 2010-2011 season, when his side lifted the Aviva Premiership title. Quins won 17 of their 22 league games, and fought to a 30-23 victory in the final over the Leicester Tigers at Twickenham. He also led his team to be the European Challenge Cup winners the season before, and in the 2012-2013 season Harlequins lifted the LV=Cup.

In early December 2015, it was confirmed that the Italian Rugby Federation had approached O’Shea for the position of head coach. However he decided against taking up that role.

It is now expected though that he will accept the opportunity to coach Italy.

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