O'Shea bids farewell to the Azzurri
Head coach Conor O'Shea has stepped down from his position with Italy after three years in the job.
The 49-year-old took charge of the Azzurri in May 2016 after previously enjoying spells in charge of Harlequins and London Irish.
O'Shea oversaw 40 matches with Italy, winning nine, with his last match ending in a 49-3 defeat to South Africa at the World Cup.
"We have started a process and generated a new, well-founded hope, but I also believe that the end of the World Cup represents the best time for everyone to make changes ahead of the new cycle," he said.
"I have built friendships and made experiences I will never forget. The job of all of us is to leave the shirt in a better place than that in which we found it. I sincerely hope to have left the Italian rugby in a better position.
"The young people who are coming enter to become part of a system that, continuing with the right decisions, can only improve in the years to come."
Time is of the essence for Italy as they search for O'Shea's successor with their Six Nations campaign set to start on February 1 against Wales in Cardiff.
Bobbie Jackson is a reporter with an in-depth knowledge of football at all levels. A Blackpool supporter, Bobbie is also a keen rugby union, boxing, MMA and UFC follower.