Newly-signed Treviso prop Alberto de Marchi insists that he learned a lot in his time with Aironi before making the switch across Italy.
De Marchi, 26, is one of 13 new additions, including former Aironi teammates Giulio Toniolatti and Simone Favaro, to the club which finished 10 th in the RaboDirect PRO12 last season.
In re-locating from the Lombardy-based outfit to Treviso, De Marchi is moving closer to his hometown of San Donà di Piave in the Veneto.
And although he admits his delight at being nearer his loved ones he paid tribute to now-defunct Aironi, whom he credits with forging him into an Italian international.
“I was missing my family a lot, in particular my brother and my beautiful niece who I never managed to see enough of,” confessed De Marchi, who won his first Italy cap against Argentina in June.
“But I will always thank the Aironi set-up because they made me understand for the first time what a ‘high level’ means and how you must train in a systematic manner.
“Thanks to them I noticeably matured and thanks to the advice of my companions I was able to gain important experience that in turn allowed me to get into the national side.
“Now I’ve chosen to come to Benetton due to my desire to win.
“I want to put myself at the disposal of the club and get on the pitch and to train every minute towards this goal, giving my utmost and demanding the same from the rest of the squad.”