Brought in over the summer, talented young hooker Enjiel Makelara is one to watch at Benetton Rugby in the Guinness PRO14 this season.
The Macedonian-born player is getting his first taste of professional rugby and could be a potential pillar of the Azzurri scrum in the future.
Born in Debar 21 years ago, Makelara was raised at Rugby Bassano before moving to the age-grade Benetton squads.
Since landing in Treviso his natural aggressive attitude and his physical qualities have made him a steady selection for the Italian national junior teams and the National U18 Academy of Mogliano where he improved his athleticism through hours of hard work in the gym.
For a couple of years, he was part of the Italian National U20 Squad in the Six Nations and got a call up to the World U20 Championship in 2016 in England where he scored a try in the semi-final against Georgia.
Despite his young age, he has been involved in senior rugby since 2014, having first left the Benetton U18 squad to join Rugby Mogliano in Eccellenza, the highest tier of national competition in Italy.
Last summer, Makelara moved to Petrarca Padova, picking up 14 caps for the historic club and helping them reach the Eccellenza semi-final.
He may still have a lot to learn about the dynamics of a pro-level scrum and should improve his consistency at lineout throws, but his presence around the pitch will be felt this evening at Myreside.
Standing at 186cm and 105kg, this young hooker has plenty of time to develop into an imposing scrummager and is certainly one to look out for now that he is back in the Benetton fold.
Makelara will surely land on the international stage after the 2019 Rugby World Cup, but he may well get a call from Conor O’Shea sooner than people think.