O'Shea dismisses rumours linking him to the Ireland coach job in the summer
Conor O’Shea has pledged his future to Harlequins and distanced himself from speculation linking him with the Ireland coaching job.
O’Shea emerged as the bookies’ favourite this week to succeed Declan Kidney, whose contract ends in the summer, but the Quins director of rugby has committed himself to the Aviva Premiership champions.
In an effort to end speculation, O’Shea said: “I am contracted to Harlequins until the end of the 2013-14 season.
“I will be honouring that commitment and, hopefully, continuing beyond it.”
Meanwhile, O’Shea has released Seb Stegmann from his contract early so the winger can help London Welsh, the club he was contracted to join in the summer anyway, in their battle against relegation to the Championship.
Stegmann, who will miss out on the LV= Cup semi-final against Bath on March 9, made 35 senior appearances for Quins, but his chances have been restricted by a string of injuries.
O’Shea said: “It all happened quickly. Lyn [Jones] called from Welsh asking if Seb could be released early.
“I had a chat with Seb that day and we decided that it was in his best interests to go.
“Yes, he will miss the semi-final, but, come April and May, he would not be playing.
“It is right he has the chance to help his new club avoid relegation, and it would have been selfish of us to keep him at the Stoop.
“Seb is a good player and he is only 23, and I always try to think of the player and what is in his best interests.
“Seb scored the bonus point-winning try against Biarritz in the Heineken Cup, which is a measure of the quality he has.”