Rugby

"I Told Him He Was A Liar But A Good Liar!" - Danny Care On The Surprise Of Conor O'Shea's Tactics

"I Told Him He Was A Liar But A Good Liar!" - Danny Care On The Surprise Of Conor O'Shea's Tactics

These days, the Daily Express newspaper is filled with articles about 'scheming remoaners' and greedy EU bureaucrats but, amidst all of that, they have found space for a column from one of England rugby's stars.

Danny Care's column this week is unsurprisingly about Conor O'Shea, who, in addition to being Italy coach was also Care's former coach at Harlequins.

During his long years coaching in the Premiership, O'Shea built a reputation for encouraging attacking rugby. He did so first with London Irish, whom he led into the Heineken Cup for the first time, and Harlequins, with whom he won the Premiership in 2011-12.

But in his Express column, Care says that O'Shea has torpedoed that reputation. In one game, he has become the most negative man in rugby.

I'm going to pick Conor's brains over a beer. He has gone from the most attacking man in rugby to the most negative in one game. They felt they had to do it to try and get a result but they didn't.

Why the law is like that, I don't know, but it's within the laws to do it. We've experienced it against us a couple of times, but only once or twice in certain games.

To have it in every breakdown is something new. It's another thing this team has experienced. We got through it and managed to find a way, it probably took us a bit longer to adapt than we wanted to but we did and we got five points.

During the game, Ugo Monye, another Harlequin who was working as a co-commentator with ITV, said he had spoken to O'Shea beforehand and reported that the Italian coach told him, "just make sure you understand your laws."

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Interestingly, in his Express column, Care was beside Monye when he rang O'Shea. They were getting a haircut.

According to Care, O'Shea pointedly denied to Monye that Italy had anything up their sleeve.

I was Ugo having a haircut on Friday and I didn't realise he was on the phone to Conor. I think Ugo wanted some help with his commentary, on the sort of things they were trying to do.

Ugo asked him if he had anything up his sleeve and Conor obviously said, 'no'. I said to him he was a liar but a good liar. Ever the politician Conor.

Read more: Packie Bonner, Anthony Nash And Others Who Helped Inspire Rule Changes In Their Sport

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