Conor O’Shea admits he got a kick out of plotting ‘The Fox’ in the week building up to Italy’s clash against England.

The tactic – which involved not engaging in rucks in order not to create an offside line after the tackle – took England by surprise in Sunday’s Six Nations encounter at Twickenham.

The hosts eventually broke down the Italians but trailed 10-5 at half-time before pulling away in the final ten minutes.

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The move, which was suggested by defence coach Brendan Venter, drew criticism from England coach Eddie Jones and former scrum-half Matt Dawson. 

Speaking to RTÉ 2fm's Game On, the former Ireland international, said: “I think it was just fun. I actually enjoyed myself, I enjoyed the planning for the week.

"I enjoyed seeing it happen. We didn’t know how it was going to work. You never do.

"It’s been employed before, little one-offs in matches but we just decided we’d go for broke and do something completely different from the start.

“I was really proud of the lads, the spirit and mentality that they’ve shown.

“The amount we have to change to make Italy competitive again is huge but we’re learning at the highest level .

“People like to see things that are a little bit different.

“I think it’s just nice that people are probably going to be looking at us the next time we play and say ‘I wonder what they are going to come up with’ and hopefully we’ll have something up our sleeve.”