O’Shea determined to end his Quins reign by winning trophy

Conor O’Shea insists delight for his players will outweigh any sense of personal achievement if he manages to sign off at Harlequins with a trophy.

Friday night’s emphatic 30-6 dismissal of Grenoble in the European Challenge Cup semi-final set up a final showdown for Quins against Montpellier or Newport Gwent Dragons in Lyon on 13 May 13.

But the club’s director of rugby, who will leave The Stoop to take charge of the Italian national side in the summer, does not want the occasion to be about him – even if it offers the opportunity to bring the curtain down in style on his time in west London.

“I love this club and the six years I’ve had here,” O’Shea told West London Sport in an exclusive interview.

“Will I be emotional? Yes, I’m an emotional person, but it means nothing for me, apart from wanting this club to be successful.

“I got into this game a long time ago and when I finished playing, I said I won’t ever think it’s about a coach.

“This game is about players, it’s about seeing their joy in the dressing room. It’s about seeing them really happy, and that gives you so much satisfaction.

“You see them go through the hardship, you see them go through the tough times and good times and I just want the final emotion of this whole group of players to be positive and carry them into next season. I just want to see players fulfil their potential.”

O’Shea guided the club to their third triumph in Europe’s second competition in 2011 and they are already the most successful side in the trophy’s 20-year history as they chase  a fourth title.

The Irishman hopes that a victory in this year’s final would provide the springboard for more success after he has gone.

“We’ve a long way to go,” O’Shea said. “We are still 80 minutes from a trophy, but how exciting will that be for everybody.

“Hopefully the confidence will grow if we win it, as it did after we won it in 2010-11. I have a few pictures in my mind from 2010-11 that I will show these fellas in the lead up to that match, to show how much it would mean to them and the supporters.

“We’ve done a lot of good things this year but not had the rewards. We’ve had a lot of misfortune. But now we’re gathering our resources again for a final push.

“It’s exciting to be there in the final again and exciting to have an opportunity to win silverware. I can’t wait.”