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September 02, 2020 3 min read

September, 2 2020

Craig Wilson was born in England and is currently the men's and women's Head Coach at Yale University. Wilson was internationally capped for the Hong Kong National Team and has represented professional academies at Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints. He has played in both the Scottish and Hong Kong premiership and coached the India National Team at both XV’s and sevens.

“Every, every single moment in your career in rugby, whether you’re a kid, or you’re playing international, or you’re coaching, or every job you have is a chance to learn,"

Rugby Wisdom Podcast

Conor O’Shea

Craig Wilson:Welcome to Rugby Wisdom in 3, the impactful podcast that does not impact your time. My name is Craig Wilson and I’m your host. On today’s Rugby Wisdom in 3, I’m joined by Conor O’Shea. As a player, Conor represented London Irish 127 times and was capped by Ireland 35 times, including two World Cups. As a club coach, Conor has worked with London Irish and Harlequins, where he won the Aviva Premiership and the European Challenge Cup. Internationally, Conor is the head coach of Italy from 2016 to 2019, and he’s now the director of performance for England Rugby.

Conor, welcome to the podcast.

Conor O’Shea: Great to be here, Craig. Thanks.

Craig Wilson: Thanks for your time. Let’s get straight into it. Can you share an experience during your time in rugby that has positively impacted how you operate today?

Conor O’Shea: Geez, you know, it’s a tough question, isn’t it, Craig? Because I think the simple answer is every experience has an impact on you, both positively and negatively, but mainly positively, because every experience is a chance to learn. But thinking about it, I always go back to a very strange moment in my life. It was the day I got my first cap for Ireland, and the captain at the time, and I’ll preface again. Every, every single moment in your career in rugby, whether you’re a kid, or you’re playing international, or you’re coaching, or every job you have is a chance to learn, but one thing that always sticks in my mind is Philip Danaher, captain of Ireland at the time, came up to… Best moment of my life. I’d been told I was playing for my country for the first time. And he shook me by the hand, and I’d played with him in Lansdowne Rugby Club for a year before he moved back down to Garryowen, and so I knew him for a long time.

But he shook my hand and he said to me, he said, “Conor, I’ll congratulate you when you get dropped and come back.” And I looked at him going, “What a weird thing to say.” And it was only when I was dropped, many a times, and came back, that I realized what he said and what he meant. And what he meant was a lot of guys, it’s easy to get there. The flip side is everyone has hard times and it’s how you react and come back from that hard times, and almost the guys who had been through a number of times understood that the ones with the mental resilience and durability to take the good and the bad and to keep on coming back for more, that’s the secret in everything you do in life. And it was a very weird way of putting it by Philip, but only with experience did I understand it, and it’s something I have remembered for the rest of my career. You’re gonna have bad times but come back and I’ll shake you by the hand when you come back from those bad times.

Craig Wilson: I think that can actually… I think this could be called Life Wisdom in 3, that’s so powerful, so Conor, I really appreciate your time. Thank you for sharing that with me, and all the best.

Conor O’Shea: Pleasure, Craig.

Craig Wilson: And just to end the show, I want to bring your attention to two rugby players raising money for the Matt Hampson Foundation. James Beanland and Ben Turnbull of Oakham Rugby Club are cycling to 18 rugby clubs in one day, totaling 140 miles. Their aim is to raise 3,000 pounds, and that goes directly to the Matt Hampson Foundation. You can find a link to their JustGiving page in the show notes below, or you can search for Beany & Bully’s Rugby Club Bike Tour on their JustGiving page.

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