Former Edinburgh and Ireland head coach Michael Bradley has been named head coach of Italian side Zebre ahead of the new Guinness Pro12 season.
Zebre are now under the control of the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR), who confirmed yesterday that Bradley would take charge of the Parma-based outfit.
A statement from the FIR read: “With the appointment of the new chief executive officer (Dr Andrea Dalledonne), the composition of the franchise’s technical staff was also defined, the guidance of which was entrusted to Michael Bradley, (who) until last season (was) assistant coach of the Georgian national team, currently ranked 12th in World Rugby.
“His name was indicated by Conor O’Shea (national team head coach) with a view of full technical alignment between Italy and the two Pro12 franchises.”
Bradley, 54, will have former Italy players Carlo Orlandi and Alessandro Troncon alongside him on his coaching staff.
The former scrum-half won 40 caps for Ireland between 1984 and 1995 and began his coaching career with the country’s under-21 side in 2002.
He coached Connacht between 2003 and 2010 and was Ireland’s interim head coach for the 2008 summer tour to New Zealand and Australia.
Bradley was appointed head coach of Edinburgh on a two-year contract in May 2011, guiding the pro club to the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup, before becoming Georgia assistant coach in 2013.