Zebre

Zebre (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdzɛbre], meaning "Zebras") are an Italian professional rugby union team competing in the United Rugby Championship and EPCR competitions from the 2012–13 season.[1] They are based in Parma (Emilia-Romagna), Italy. They are operated by the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) and replaced Aironi in the Pro12.[2][3][4][5][6]

Zebre
UnionItalian Rugby Federation
Nickname(s)The XV of the North-West («il XV del Nord-Ovest»)
Founded1973 (as Invitational Team – disbanded in 1997)
2012 (2012) (as Professional Team)
LocationParma, Italy
Ground(s)Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma (Capacity: 5,000)
PresidentAndrea Dalledonne
Coach(es)Michael Bradley
Captain(s)Tommaso Castello
League(s)United Rugby Championship
2020–216th (Conference A)
Rainbow Cup
12th
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website
www.zebrerugbyclub.it

Zebre, often referred to as "the XV of the North-West" (Italian: il XV del Nord-Ovest), represents the four committees of Emilia-Romagna, Liguria, Lombardy and Piedmont, which includes tens of thousands of members and several clubs.[7] Since 2018, it represents also teams from others committees like Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche, Tuscany and Sicily.[8]

History

The entry of Italian teams into the Celtic League had been proposed for many years. After several failed attempts, there was hope that a deal for Italian entry would be done in time for the 2010–11 season, with the Scots delaying support for entry until changes were made to the Celtic League management structure. In February 2010, it was announced that the planned expansion of the Celtic League was to be put on hold. The reasons were the insistence by existing members that the Italian teams could be ejected after three years. Also, the financial demands that the league placed on the Italians could not be met. The existing teams said this was to cover the need to have larger squads to cover the extra fixtures and additional travel expenses.[9] Agreement was reached in early March 2010 to allow Italian teams entry to the Celtic League in time for the 2010–11 season.[10] The clubs will also be guaranteed places in the annual Heineken Cup, which had previously been awarded to the two top teams in the National Championship of Excellence.

Italy have failed to make an impact in the Six Nations Championship since joining in 2000. This has largely been blamed on the fact their best players do not have a competitive enough domestic tournament or are forced to play abroad. The fact that the Six Nations decider in 2009 between Wales and Ireland featured 42 Celtic League players out of 44 in their squads supported this notion.[11]

After initial applications in 2010, it was proposed that Aironi would join along with a new team, Praetorians Roma,[12] but Benetton Treviso were nominated instead. Benetton Treviso and Duchi Nord-Ovest could not agree to form one club to represent the Veneto region and lost out in the first round of bidding despite the region being the traditional home of Italian rugby.[13] However, Pretorians Roma failed to satisfy the evaluators of their financial muscle and Benetton Treviso were nominated in their place.[14]

Aironi struggled in their first season; a surprise European Cup win over Biarritz was the only highlight of a campaign in which they managed only one Pro12 victory. At the end of a second season of struggle on the pitch, Aironi succumbed to financial difficulties off it. Their licence to play both in the European Cup and Pro12 was revoked by the Italian Rugby Federation.[15] The Federation decided against another domestic Italian club taking over the running of the licence, instead opting to maintain complete control of a planned new franchise.[16] In June 2012, it was announced that the new franchise would be known as Zebre and based in Parma.[17]

Zebre did not enjoy much success in their first season, 2012–13, finishing bottom after winless campaigns in both the Pro12 and the Heineken Cup. Although they finished the subsequent 2013–14 season bottom once again, their performance was much improved, seeing their first victory against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park into Round 3 of Pro12,[18] in a season in which they had five league victories, with their away win in Cardiff followed by home victories against the Ospreys, Edinburgh, Cardiff Blues and Italian Rivals Treviso, who finished the season a single point ahead of Zebre. They fared somewhat worse in 2014–15, managing only 3 victories and finishing bottom of the table for the third season running. In the 2015–16 seasons they again earned five victories including back to back victories against Treviso and a bonus-point victory against the Newport Gwent Dragons. Zebre avoided finishing in last place for the first time.

Honours

  • Italian Celtic League/Pro12/Pro14 derbies:
    • Winners: 1 (2015–16)

Current standings

2020–21 Pro14 Table
Conference A
Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TBP LBP PTS
1 Leinster (CH) 161402576285+291823314171
2 Ulster 161402469263+20665348064
3 Ospreys 16808301318-1734391336
4 Glasgow Warriors 166010335377-4240472430
5 Dragons 166010215394-7936502329
6 Zebre 164012237508-27122690117
Conference B
Team P W D L PF PA PD TF TA TBP LBP PTS
1 Munster (RU) 161402413250+16349267264
2 Connacht 16808396353+4353367645
3 Scarlets 16808319333-1436383439
4 Cardiff Blues 16808265284-1930323136
5 Edinburgh 165110247344-9729431429*
6 Benetton 160115252415-1643453167*
* Cancelled fixture: Edinburgh awarded four match points.
If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:[19]
  1. number of matches won
  2. the difference between points for and points against
  3. the number of tries scored
  4. the most points scored
  5. the difference between tries for and tries against
  6. the fewest red cards received
  7. the fewest yellow cards received
Green background indicates teams that will compete in the Pro14 Final, and also earn a place in the 2021–22 European Champions Cup

Blue background indicates teams outside the play-off places that earn a place in the 2021–22 European Champions Cup
Plain background indicates teams that earn a place in the 2021–22 European Rugby Challenge Cup.
(CH) Champions. (RU) Runners-up. (PO) Champions Cup play-off winners.

    The team

    Name history

    Founded in 1973 by the former Italian national captain Marco Bollesan, Zebre (English: Zebras) was chosen, in 2012, by the Italian Rugby Federation as the new franchise's name. The name had been used by an invitational select rugby union team based in Northwest Italy that played regular fixtures between 1973 and 1997. In those 23 years, 25 matches were held against international clubs; and resulted in a high number of victories for Zebre. The opening match was an unofficial test played in Milan in 1973 against the Australian team of Randwick Sydney, who won 21–50. Zebre had a memorable 48–38 victory against the Barbarians in Brescia in June 1997.[20]

    Two other former select teams are Dogi (The Doges) based in Triveneto and I Lupi (The Wolves) based in Central and Southern Italy.[21]

    Stadium and training

    The team play in Parma at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, the former home ground of Crociati Parma and the F.I.R. Academy. Initially, the ground is being refurbished and expanded. Zebre usually hold their summer training camp at Parma University.[22] In its history, Zebre played also official matches in others different homegrounds:
    – In the 2012–13 Pro12 season at Reggio Emilia's Stadio Città del Tricolore, against Leinster;[23]
    – In the 2017–18 Pro14 season at Stadio Tommaso Fattori of L'Aquila, Abruzzo, against Dragons;[24]
    – In the 2018–19 Pro14 season at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella of Viadana, Lombardy, against Leinster[25]
    – In the 2019–20 European Rugby Challenge Cup season at Stadio San Michele of Calvisano, Lombardy, against Brive[26]
    – In the 2019–20 Pro14 season at Stadio Giovanni Mari of Legnano, Lombardy, against Munster;[27]

    Staff and coaching team

    The staff for the 2020–21 Pro14 season is:[28]

    • Director of Rugby – Michael Bradley
    • Assistant Coaches – Andrea Moretti, Fabio Roselli
    • Team Manager – Andrea de Rossi, Erick Trolli
    • Fitness coach – Giovanni Biondi, Francesco Della Ceca, Maicol Maccagnani, Giulia Barbieri, Davide Barbieri
    • Video analyst – Niccolò Gaetaniello, Flavio Ferraresi

    Players

    Zebre is mostly based on Italian players, rather than foreigners.[29] In 2012, of the initial list of 36 contracted players, only three were ineligible to play for Italy. Nineteen former Aironi players were included in the original squad. An emphasis on youth development was also visible, with a significant portion of the squad being made up of members of F.I.R. Academy Ivan Francescato .[22]

    Current squad

    Zebre United Rugby Championship squad[lower-alpha 1]

    Props

    • Eduardo Bello*
    • Paolo Buonfiglio
    • Danilo Fischetti
    • Andrea Lovotti
    • Ion Neculai
    • Matteo Nocera
    • Daniele Rimpelli
    • Giosuè Zilocchi

    Hookers

    • Luca Bigi
    • Massimo Ceciliani
    • Oliviero Fabiani
    • Marco Manfredi

    Locks

    • Leonard Krumov
    • Dave Sisi
    • Cristian Stoian
    • Gabriele Venditti
    • Andrea Zambonin

    Back row

    • Luca Andreani
    • Iacopo Bianchi
    • Renato Giammarioli
    • Potu Leavasa Jr.
    • Giovanni Licata
    • Maxime Mbanda
    • Johan Meyer
    • Jimmy Tuivaiti

    Scrum-halves

    • Nicolò Casilio
    • Alessandro Fusco
    • Guglielmo Palazzani
    • Marcello Violi

    Fly-halves

    • Carlo Canna
    • Paolo Pescetto
    • Antonio Rizzi

    Centres

    • Giulio Bisegni
    • Tommaso Boni
    • Tommaso Castello (c)
    • Enrico Lucchin

    Wings

    • Mattia Bellini
    • Pierre Bruno
    • Gabriele Di Giulio
    • Giovanni D'Onofrio

    Fullbacks

    • Michelangelo Biondelli
    • Junior Laloifi
    • Jacopo Trulla
    (c) denotes the team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped players.
    * denotes players qualified to play for Italy on residency or dual nationality.
    Players and their allocated positions from the Zebre website.[30]
    1. Taking into account signings and departures head of 2021–22 season as listed on List of 2021–22 United Rugby Championship transfers.

    Permit player squad

    Zebre Permit Players squad

    Props

    • None currently named

    Hookers

    • None currently named

    Locks

    • None currently named

    Back row

    • None currently named

    Scrum-halves

    • None currently named

    Fly-halves

    • None currently named

    Centres

    • None currently named

    Wings

    • None currently named

    Fullbacks

    • None currently named
    (c) denotes the team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped players.
    * denotes players qualified to play for Italy on residency or dual nationality.
    Players and their allocated positions from the Zebre Rugby website.

      Selected former players

      Former players who have played for Zebre and have caps for their respective country

      • Bruno Postiglioni
      • Guillermo Roan
      • Luke Burgess
      • Kameli Ratuvou
      • Matías Agüero
      • Andrea Bacchetti
      • Alberto Benettin
      • Mauro Bergamasco
      • Mirco Bergamasco
      • Valerio Bernabò
      • George Biagi
      • Marco Bortolami
      • Paolo Buso
      • Pietro Ceccarelli
      • Alberto Chillon
      • Dario Chistolini
      • Tommaso D'Apice
      • Paul Derbyshire
      • Andrea De Marchi
      • Carlo Festuccia
      • Joshua Furno
      • Quintin Geldenhuys
      • Gonzalo Garcia
      • Davide Giazzon
      • Kelly Haimona
      • Tommaso Iannone
      • Andrea Manici
      • Matteo Minozzi
      • Federico Mori
      • Luciano Orquera
      • Roberto Quartaroli
      • Samuele Pace
      • Edoardo Padovani
      • Sami Panico
      • Salvatore Perugini
      • Matteo Pratichetti
      • Lorenzo Romano
      • Federico Ruzza
      • Jacopo Sarto
      • Leonardo Sarto
      • Fabio Semenzato
      • Josh Sole
      • Tito Tebaldi
      • Giulio Toniolatti
      • Dries van Schalkwyk
      • Giovanbattista Venditti
      • Michele Visentin
      • Samuela Vunisa
      • Andrei Mahu
      • Brendon Leonard
      • Mils Muliaina
      • Alexandru Țăruș
      • Failaga Afamasaga
      • Sinoti Sinoti

      Season records

      Pro12

      Season Pos Played Won Drawn Lost Bonus Points
      2012–1312th2200221010
      2013–1412th225215529
      2014–1512th223019315
      2015–1611th225017424
      2016–1712th223019719

      Pro14

      Season Conference Pos Played Won Drawn Lost Bonus Points
      2017–18Conference A7th217014836
      2018–19Conference A7th213018719
      2019–20Conference A6th153111721

      European Rugby Challenge Cup

      Season Pool/Round Pos Played Won Drawn Lost Bonus Points
      2014–15Pool 53rd620408
      2015–16Pool 42nd6303113
      2017–18Pool 33rd610548
      2018–19Pool 43rd6303214
      2019–20Pool000000

      Heineken Cup / European Rugby Champions Cup

      Season Pool/Round Pos Played Won Drawn Lost Bonus Points
      2012–13Pool 34th600611
      2013–14Pool 34th600600
      2016–17Pool 24th600600

      Personnel honours and records

      (correct as of 11 June 2021)

      Bold indicates active player

      Category Player Total
      Tries Dries Van Schalkwyk 24
      Appearances Guglielmo Palazzani 145
      Points Carlo Canna 666
      This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.