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Michael Bradley appointed Head Coach of Zebre after recommendation by Conor O'Shea

The 54-year-old Cork man has been named head coach by the Italian Rugby Federation.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FORMER CONNACHT BOSS Michael Bradley has been named Head Coach of Italian club Zebre ahead of the new Pro12 season.

As was reported last Monday, Zebre will compete this season but under the ownership of the Italian Rugby Federation – this after initially indicating their intention to withdraw from the competition.

After appointing 63-year-old law graduate and businessman Dr. Andrea Dalledonne as the club’s sole director, the FIR today confirmed former Ireland scrum-half Bradley as head coach, with the Cork man having been recommended to the organisation by Italy head coach Conor O’Shea.

A statement from the Italian Rugby Federation read: “With the appointment of the new Chief Executive Officer, the composition of the franchise’s technical staff was also defined, the guidance of which was entrusted to Michael Bradley, the 55-year-old Irishman, [who] until last season [was] assistant coach of the Georgian national team, currently ranked twelfth in World Rugby.

“Bradley, whose name was indicated by Conor O’Shea, CT (commissario tecnico/head coach) of the national team with a view of full technical alignment between Italy and the two PRO12 franchises, will be joined by Carlo Orlandi as coach of the forwards and Alessandro Troncon as Trequartz coach: The pair of Italian technicians, who already assisted the National team during the management of Nick Mallett and Jacques Brunel, came to the Zebra after a long experience with the Italian U20, which ended in June with an historic place in the “top 8″ World Championships.”

Alfredo Gavazzi, President of the Italian Rugby Federation, added: “Participation at the Guinness PRO12 is strategic for the development of our high-level rugby and the choice of FIR to resume full control of the franchise, both from a management and sports point of view , will only guarantee a full alignment between the goals of the National team and Zebre Rugby Club.

The technical staff could not be more consistent with those that are our high-level goals. Mike Bradley has been directly indicated by our CT O’Shea and can offer technical continuity between the club and the national team, is an experienced technician with previous experience both in the PRO12 and on the international scene.

Bradley will depart his role as defence coach with Georgia and return to club rugby for the first time since departing Edinburgh in 2013.

The 40-cap former Ireland captain coached Connacht between 2003 and 2010, with his side qualifying for the playoff stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup on six of his seven years in charge, reaching two semi-finals.

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The 54-year-old was appointed the Irish interim head coach for the 2008 summer tour to New Zealand and Australia.

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Italian Rugby Federation take control of Zebre after attempted Pro12 withdrawal

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