London - Italy head coach Conor O'Shea says that shrinking the Six
Nations is counterproductive to the growth of the game.
The former Harlequins coach says that talk of dropping of
Italy from the Six Nations would be detrimental to rugby in Europe and that
they should instead expand the tournament.
"It was the four nations, then five," O'Shea told
"We should be expanding, not going the other way.
"Over the last 30 Six Nations matches before this year
Scotland had won one more than Italy, and go back to my day and Ireland would
have been relegated a few times.
"I look at it and think Italy has the third-biggest
economy in Europe. If we want to grow the game, rugby can ill afford to say,
'We don't need you.' If we get our act together then the whole conversation
becomes a moot point anyway."