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Dublin: 10°C Friday 7 May 2021

Franco Smith to take over as Italy's interim head coach for Six Nations

The South African will take over from Conor O’Shea, who stood down over the weekend.

Franco Smith
Franco Smith

SOUTH AFRICAN FRANCO Smith will be at the helm for Italy through the 2020 Six Nations, but the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) will continue its search for a permanent successor to Conor O’Shea.

O’Shea stepped down last week after over three years in the role following their World Cup campaign in a pool that included New Zealand and eventual winners South Africa.

Wins over Namibia and Canada gave them some cause for cheer, although Italy were denied a meeting with the All Blacks – and therefore any shot at qualifying for the knockout stage – by the devastation wrought by Typhoon Hagibis. 

The FIR today said that Smith, Giampiero De Carli and Marius Goosen would lead the coaching ticket for the Six Nations, with a permanent staff installed in the summer for the lead up to the 2023 World Cup.

Smith, who has coached the Cheetahs and Treviso, will be out to avoid a fifth consecutive wooden spoon for Italy at the Six Nations.

A new coach is expected to be appointed by July 1.

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