Conor O'Shea has resigned from his role as Italy head coach with immediate effect.

The Irishman's contract would have run through to the end of the 2020 Six Nations but it was widely expected that he would step down in the aftermath of the World Cup.

O'Shea led Italy to victories over Namibia and Canada in Japan while their clash with New Zealand was called out due to Typhoon Hagibis and they were well beaten by South Africa, failing to progress past the pool stage. 

The former Harlequins Director of Rugby has been linked with a role within the English RFU.

"I loved every minute I spent in Italy and I really believe in what we have done and how it can be achieved in the years to come," said O'Shea.

"We have started a process and generated a new, well-founded hope, but I also believe that the end of the Rugby World Cup represents the best time for everyone to make changes in view of the new cycle.

"I built friendships and made experiences that I will never forget. I sincerely hope to have left Italian rugby in a better position. The young people who are coming join a system that, by continuing with the right decisions, can only improve in the years to come."