Conor O'Shea

O’Shea was Italy coach between 2016 and 2019

Former Ireland international Conor O’Shea is to become the Rugby Football Union’s director of performance, replacing Nigel Melville.

Melville is leaving “to pursue new opportunities” and 49-year-old O’Shea will take over next year.

O’Shea resigned as Italy coach this month and was previously director of rugby at Harlequins and London Irish.

“We are here to provide a sustainable, winning environment and I hope I can play my part,” he said.

The RFU said O’Shea would “manage the England player, coaching and match officials pathways across men’s and women’s 15s and Sevens programmes”.

In a statement, it added: “He will work closely with England men’s head coach Eddie Jones, however the England team remains the responsibility of Jones who will continue to report directly to [chief executive Bill] Sweeney.”

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