Zebre Rugby Club team to face Ulster Rugby

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor
22 February 2019

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Zebre left Parma this morning for Northern Ireland where they will face Ulster Rugby on Saturday evening (Kingspan Stadium, 7:35pm). 

Ulster are included in Conference B of the Guinness PRO14 like Leinster, Zebre’s last opponent. 

The Zebre technical staff had to do without several players capped by the Italian national team, who host Ireland in Rome on Sunday February 24.

There are seven Zebre Rugby players retained by the Azzurri, with two enlisted for the trip to Northern Ireland: Centre Bisegni and the fly-half Canna, both starters tomorrow night as they were seven days ago at the Stadio Zaffanella.

Licata and Zilocchi are the latest players to join the injury list. 

Head coach Michael Bradley has called four permit players, all former players of the Ivan Francescato National Under 20 Academy. 

Three of them take part in the top Italian Top12 tournament: back row Jacopo Bianchi of Fiamme Oro, loose-head prop Danilo Fischetti of Rugby Calvisano who already boasts two caps in the Guinness PRO14 and debutant Alessandro Mordacci; included in the Valorugby Emilia roster this year. 

The fourth permit player is another debutant, lock Lorenzo Masselli, born in 1997 in Johannesburg in South Africa, and plays his rugby for the Lyons Piacenza, leaders of the second national tournament, Serie A.

In total there are seven changes in the starting XV with two in the back line. Balekana will start on the wing, De Battista who will start at inside centre. 

In the pack, the tight-head prop Bello is back in action as is Krumov in the second-row, pairing with captain Biagi. 

The back row is completely new with the two Pacific Island flankers Tauyavuca and Brown on the sides of young number 8 Bianchi.

Zebre Rugby Club

15 Francois Brummer
14 Paula Balekana
13 Giulio Bisegni
12 Nicolas De Battista
11 James Elliott
10 Carlo Canna 
9 Joshua Renton

8 Jacopo Bianchi* (permit player from Fiamme Oro Rugby)
7 James Brown
6 Apisai Tauyavuca
5 George Biagi (cap)
4 Leonard Krumov*
3 Eduardo Bello
2 Oliviero Fabiani
1 Daniele Rimpelli*


16 Luhandre Luus*
17 Danilo Fischetti* (permit player from Rugby Calvisano)
18 Roberto Tenga
19 Lorenzo Masselli* (permit player from the Rugby Lyons)
20 Alessandro Mordacci* (permit player from Valorugby Emilia)
21 Riccardo Raffaele*
22 Maicol Azzolini*
23 Giovanbattista Venditti*

Head Coach: Michael Bradley 

Not available for selection due to injury: Cruze Ah-Nau, Mattia Bellini, Dario Chistolini, Renato Giammarioli*, Giovanni Licata*, Johan Meyer, Matteo Minozzi*, Marcello Violi*, Giosué Zilocchi*

Capped by Italy for the Guinness Six Nations: Tommaso Castello, Andrea Lovotti*, Maxime Mbandà*, Edoardo Padovani*, Guglielmo Palazzani, David Sisi, Jimmy Tuivaiti,

*Former member of the Italian Rugby Union National Academy “Ivan Francescato” 

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scottish Rugby Union)
Assistant Referees: Lloyd Linton e Sam Grove-White (both Scottish Rugby Union)
TMO: Ken Henley-Willis (Irish Rugby Football Union)

Live coverage of the game in Italy on live streaming on DAZN on www.dazn.com. Live text coverage of the game on www.pro14rugby.org and on Zebre Rugby twitter account with the official game hashtag #ULSvZEB


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