Zebre Rugby Club team to face Benetton Rugby

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor
26 April 2019

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Zebre performed their last captain’s run in a climate more appropriate to the Irish island, home of the head coach Michael Bradley.


The rain and the sun of the last few hours have helped to keep Lanfranchi’s pitch in excellent condition ahead of tomorrow’s challenge.

On Saturday at 6pm, the Italian derby will end the Guinness PRO14 season of the Parma-based franchise.

Biagi and his teammates will host Benetton Rugby in Parma in the third derby between the two Italian teams of the competition, the sixteenth official encounter between the two clubs.

Zebre are looking for their first victory of 2019 with the last success dated December 15, 2018 in the Challenge Cup challenge against Enisei-STM.

Zebre secured three wins, all at Stadio Lanfranchi at the start of the season against Southern Kings, Cardiff Blues and Edinburgh.

The coaching staff opted for 8 changes in the starting line-up compared to the one that took the field two weeks ago in Wales against the Scarlets.

In particular, fours in the pack: from the first-minute loose-head prop Lovotti and Meyer are back. The flanker missed the last three months due to an injury.

After taking over at the Parc Y Scarlets two weeks ago, lock Krumov and tight-head prop Alongi both start.

In the backs line, Boni will start with the number 12 jersey and Bellini on the wing.

Scrum-half Renton swaps the jersey with Palazzani starting in a brand new unit formed together with the fly-half Azzolini, the last of the 8 changes.

The game will be directed by a full set of the Irish Rugby Football Union referees headed by Andrew Brace at his 11th official race with the Zebras. The Cardiff born referee is the second most designated whistle in Guinness PRO14 era of the franchise that took only one win with him, the one of October 26, 2018, in Parma against the Scottish side of Edinburgh.

Here’s Zebre Rugby Club line-up for Saturday, April 27 match at Stadio Lanfranchi in Parma (Italy) for the 21st round of the Guinness PRO14 against the Italian side of Benetton Rugby. Kick-off at 6 pm local time:

15 Edoardo Padovani*
14 Mattia Bellini
13 Giulio Bisegni
12 Tommaso Boni*
11 James Elliott
10 Maicol Azzolini*
9 Joshua Renton

8 Renato Giammarioli*
7 Johan Meyer
6 Maxime Mbandà*
5 George Biagi (cap)
4 Leonard Krumov*
3 Filippo Alongi*
2 Oliviero Fabiani
1 Andrea Lovotti*


16 Luhandre Luus*
17Daniele Rimpelli*
18 Giosué Zilocchi*
19 Samuele Ortis*
20 James Brown
21 Guglielmo Palazzani
22 Nicolas De Battista
23 Gabriele Di Giulio*

Head Coach: Michael Bradley

Not available for selection due to injury: Cruze Ah-Nau, Eduardo Bello, Francois Brummer, Carlo Canna, Tommaso Castello, Dario Chistolini, Giovanni Licata*, Matteo Minozzi*, David Sisi, Jimmy Tuivaiti e Marcello Violi*.

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

Referee: Andrew Brace (Irish Rugby Football Union)
Assistant Referees: John Lacey e Mark Patton(Irish Rugby Football Union)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Irish Rugby Football Union)

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