Animals are invading the RaboDirect Pro12 following the announcement by the Italian Rugby Federation that Aironi will be replaced next season by Zebre, which means Zebras. Below is the full press announcement:
Italian Rugby Federation (FIR) announced today “Zebre” (Zebras) as the new team to replace Aironi Rugby in the Rabodirect Pro12 and Heineken Cup in the 2012/13 season. “Zebre” was originally founded in 1973 as invitational club for North-Western Italy. FIR announced as well Zebre will be based and will play in Parma, at the “XXV Aprile” Stadium, which is currently being refurbished and expanded.
Director of rugby: Roberto Manghi
Technical director: Christian Gajan
Coaches: Vincenzo Troiani, Alessandro Troncon
Team Manager: Fabio Ongaro
Fitness coach: Massimo Zaghini
FIR appointed 53-years-old Roberto Manghi as Director of Rugby. Manghi, coming from Rugby
Reggio in the 2011/2012 Eccellenza championship, was general manager with Gran Parma and
Rugby Parma, reaching with both clubs the Eccellenza semifinals.
Christian Gajan was indicated by Italy Head Coach Jacques Brunel and appointed as technical
director: 53-years-old frenchman has a strong knowledge of the italian rugby having coached
Benetton Treviso from 1998 to 2000 and VeneziaMestre in 2008/09 season. Gajan also coached
Stade Toulousain and Castres Olympique, winning the European Shield in 2003 with Castres.
Gajan will be assisted by Vincenzo Troiani and Alessandro Troncon as coaches. Troiani reached
the Eccellenza semifinals as head coach in 2005/2006 season winning the Italian Cup in the same
year. He then coached Italy U18 and Italy U20 and was part of the technical staff at the U20 and
U18 National Academies. Troncon, all-time most capped italian player with 101 appearances, retired
in 2007 from rugby and was then appointed as Italy backs coach, position he held until the end of
the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.
Fabio Ongaro, 81 times capped as hooker for Italy, announced today his retirement from rugby and
was appointed Zebre’s team manager.
Massimo Zaghini, now attending Junior World Championship 2012 in South Africa with the Italian
U20 team, will be the fitness and conditioning coach after covering the same position with the U20
National Academy this year and taking part in the 2011 Italy Rugby World Cup preparation as Alex