O’Shea happy with Italy’s progress

Italy head coach Conor O'Shea is buoyed by Azzuri's potential following their 20-18 win over Canada in Toronto on Sunday.

O'Shea succeeded Jacques Brunel following the 2016 Six Nations and began life in the hot-seat overseeing a narrow 30-24 defeat to Argentina earlier this month.

But they bounced back with a 24-20 victory over the USA then followed up with a win against Canada, hooker Ornel Gega scoring the game's only try.

The Former Harlequins boss is content with what he has witnessed from his troops and how brilliantly the younger players have stepped up.

"I know we have the talent, but there is a lot of hard work to be done," O'Shea said.

"We're at the beginning of a journey and after my first month here and seeing the team spirit I am even more excited than when I arrived.

"I am proud of the young guys even though mistakes have been made, our confidence is on the up and we have five guys who have won their first caps in recent weeks."

O'Shea applauded his forwards' physicality and how they dominated especially at the scrum set piece.

"They have learnt a lot on how to react to victory after beating United States and Canada," he added.

"Gega, [Sami] Panico, [Pietro] Ceccarelli have all done well in the scrum, [Lorenzo] Cittadini celebrated with a victory his fifty caps. [Andrea] Lovotti is a truly brilliant rugby player, Sami Panico can become one of the best props in Europe. He had a good impact when he came on, but he now has to work on his fitness so he is able to last 80 minutes."