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Zebre Rugby Club – Rugby Union Club Team

Rugby ball with zebre rugby team logo on the pitch in an empty stadium.

Struggling to find all you need to know about Zebre Rugby Club? This Italian team is a rising name in the United Rugby Championship and EPCR stages. Our blog will take you through their journey, from humble beginnings to facing international giants.

Discover rugby passion, Italian style!

Key Takeaways

  • Zebre Rugby Club, originating from Milan in 1973, transformed from an invitational club to a professional franchise participating in elite tournaments like the United Rugby Championship and EPCR.
  • The club is based at Sergio Lanfranchi Stadium in Parma and has evolved significantly through their competitive matches against high-calibre international clubs, including memorable victories over teams like Toulouse and Leicester Tigers.
  • A dynamic coaching team guides Zebre Parma’s diverse player squad which consists of homegrown Italian talent as well as players from around the world.
  • Zebre Parma Women’s Team contributes to rugby’s growth in Italy with noteworthy achievements such as winning the Italian Women’s Rugby Championship and competing effectively in European competitions.
  • Former standout players have played crucial roles at Zebre, including Carlo Festuccia and Mauro Bergamasco, helping to build the club’s legacy within international rugby.

History of Zebre Rugby Club

Zebre Rugby Club was established as an invitational team in 2012 before transitioning to a franchise in the Celtic Tournament and later participating in the United Rugby Championship.

Their journey from an invitational club to a professional team has been marked by significant growth and development, making them a force to be reckoned with in international rugby competitions.

Establishment as an invitational club

Zebre Rugby Club’s journey began in the charisma-filled city of Milan back in 1973. Known for its distinctive black and white stripes, the club quickly carved out a reputation as a formidable opponent on the rugby field.

They invited top-tier international teams to face off in spirited matches that captivated fans across Italy and beyond.

Gaining respect within rugby circuits, this invitational team showcased skillful players who would later become central figures in Italian professional rugby. Their early encounters set the stage for Zebre’s evolution into a competitive franchise known today for its resilient spirit and passionate play on both national and international levels.

Transition to a franchise in Celtic Tournament

The Zebre Rugby Club made the significant leap from an invitational team to a franchise in the Celtic Tournament, marking a pivotal moment in their history. This shift brought about increased competition and opportunities to compete at higher levels within the rugby union.

The move also strengthened the club’s position as a professional rugby team, opening up new avenues for growth and development while expanding their presence in international tournaments.

Joining the Celtic Tournament allowed Zebre Parma to test their skills against top clubs from across Europe, providing valuable exposure and experience. These opportunities have not only honed the squad’s abilities but have also solidified its standing within Italian rugby and beyond.

Participation in International Tournament United Rugby Championship

Joining the United Rugby Championship in 2017, Zebre Parma brought their competitive spirit to a higher level. Competing against top clubs from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and South Africa, Zebre gained valuable experience that has contributed to their growth as a team.

The shift to this international tournament allowed Zebre Parma to showcase their talent on a broader stage and further solidify their presence in the world of professional rugby. This move signifies the club’s commitment to elevating its status within the rugby community and establishing itself as a formidable competitor.

Expanding into an international arena provided Zebre with opportunities for exposure and development while challenging them to raise their game against elite teams. This transition propelled Zebre into new territory, fostering growth and resilience among players and supporters alike.

Honours and Records

Zebre Rugby Club has made a mark in the United Rugby Championship, consistently competing against top-tier international clubs and holding their own. Their notable victories and current standings are a testament to their dedication and hard work on the field.

Current standings in tournaments

Zebre Parma is currently competing in the United Rugby Championship and EPCR competitions, looking to improve their standing on the leaderboard. The team has faced challenges in recent seasons but is determined to make its mark in both tournaments.

With a committed coaching staff and a squad of talented players, Zebre Parma is focused on climbing up the standings and solidifying its position as a formidable force in both the URC and EPCR competitions.

In addition to aiming for success in domestic tournaments, Zebre Parma is also actively pursuing opportunities for international matches against prestigious clubs. The Italian Rugby Federation continues to support the team’s efforts to achieve significant victories and bolster their reputation within the global rugby community.

Notable victories against prestigious international clubs

  1. Defeating Toulouse in a thrilling match, showcasing the team’s resilience and determination.
  2. Overcoming Leicester Tigers in a hard-fought battle, proving their ability to compete at an elite level.
  3. Outmatching Ospreys with a dominant performance, earning respect from fans and rivals alike.
  4. Securing a historic win against Connacht, marking a significant milestone for the club.
  5. Emerging victorious over Edinburgh Rugby, displaying their prowess and skill on the field.

The Team

Zebre Rugby Club, based in Parma, Italy, has a rich history dating back to its establishment as an invitational club. The current squad is comprised of talented players from across the globe, with a strong coaching team to lead them to victory.

Name history

Originally founded in 1973 as an invitational club, Zebre Rugby Club has undergone a significant evolution. The team’s name “Zebre” pays homage to the captivating zebra-themed branding and is derived from the Italian word for zebras.

This striking designation mirrors the distinct black-and-white stripes associated with these majestic creatures, symbolising strength and unity within the team.

As Zebre Rugby Club continues its journey, the distinctive name remains a testament to their history and unique identity within the rugby community.

Stadium and Training

The Zebre Rugby Club is based at the Sergio Lanfranchi Stadium in Parma, Italy. The stadium serves as the team’s home ground for United Rugby Championship and European rugby fixtures.

The club also utilises top-notch training facilities to prepare its squad, including professional fitness equipment and practice pitches where the players hone their skills under expert coaching.

Zebre Rugby Club’s commitment to excellence extends beyond game days, with rigorous training sessions designed to keep them competitive in international tournaments. In addition to accessing state-of-the-art amenities at their home stadium, the team’s training regimen emphasises physical conditioning and strategic drills aimed at maximising their on-field performance.

As they continue to refine their abilities both on and off the field, Zebre aims to elevate its standing in global rugby competitions.

Staff and Coaching Team

The coaching team at Zebre Rugby Club is led by an experienced group of professionals who bring diverse expertise to the training ground. The head coach, along with the assistant coaches, focuses on fine-tuning the playing strategies and ensuring that each player excels in their position on the field.

Their guidance and support play a pivotal role in enhancing the overall performance of both wingers and fullbacks. With a dedicated focus on skill development and tactical acumen, this coaching team aims to elevate Zebre’s gameplay to new heights in every match they participate in.

As part of a dynamic staff lineup, strength and conditioning trainers work closely with the players to maintain peak physical fitness throughout the season. Physiotherapists are also integral members of the support staff, providing medical assistance when needed while helping prevent injuries during rigorous training sessions.

Together, this cohesive unit ensures that all aspects of player preparation are meticulously addressed for optimal results on game day.

Current Squad

Zebre Parma’s current squad showcases a blend of experienced internationals and promising talents, ready to compete in the United Rugby Championship and European competitions. This diverse group brings together players from Italy and abroad, each contributing to the team’s dynamic on and off the field.

PropAndrea LovottiItaly
HookerOliviero FabianiItaly
LockLeonard KrumovItaly
FlankerMaxime MbandaItaly
Scrum-halfMarcello VioliItaly
Fly-halfCarlo CannaItaly
CentreTommaso BoniItaly
WingMattia BelliniItaly
FullbackMichelangelo BiondelliItaly

Key players like Andrea Lovotti and Carlo Canna bring a wealth of experience to the squad, while rising stars such as Michelangelo Biondelli add youthful energy. Zebre’s commitment to developing Italian rugby talent is evident, with the majority of the squad eligible for national selection. Let’s now explore the academy players shaping the future of Zebre Rugby Club.

Academy Players

The academy at Zebre Rugby Club is crucial for developing young talent. Players receive top-notch training to enhance their skills and prepare them for professional rugby. The club has a strong focus on nurturing homegrown players, providing opportunities for local talents to shine on the international stage. The academy’s commitment to producing quality players ensures a bright future for Zebre, with promising prospects ready to make an impact in the United Rugby Championship and EPCR competitions.

Moving on from the development of young talent, let’s explore the selected former players who have left a lasting legacy at Zebre Rugby Club.

Selected Former Players

Zebre Parma has had the privilege of hosting some exceptional players. Notable former players include:

  1. Carlo Festuccia: Known for his prowess as a hooker, he made a significant impact during his time with Zebre.
  2. Quintin Geldenhuys: A formidable lock who provided invaluable leadership and skill to the team.
  3. Mauro Bergamasco: An illustrious flanker who brought experience and tenacity to the squad.
  4. Andrea De Marchi: Renowned for his speed and agility on the wing, he left a lasting impression on Zebre’s history.
  5. Salvatore Perugini: A dominant prop who contributed significantly to the team’s scrummaging strength.
  6. Dion Berryman: His electrifying performances as a fullback were a highlight during his tenure at Zebre Parma.

Season Records in Tournaments

Zebre Rugby Club has had a mixed record in the PRO14 and European tournaments, with some impressive victories against top teams. To find out more about the team’s performance in these competitions, keep reading!


Zebre Parma has participated in the PRO14, showcasing their competitive spirit against other top rugby clubs. The team’s performance in this tournament reflects its dedication to high-level competition and determination to succeed on the international stage. Zebre Parma is focused on making a mark in the PRO14, demonstrating their resilience and commitment to achieving success on the rugby field.

In PRO14 matches, Zebre Parma consistently aims to deliver strong performances that captivate fans with their skills and teamwork. With each game, they demonstrate a relentless drive to compete at a high level while striving for victory.

Heineken Champions Cup / European Rugby Challenge Cup

After competing in the PRO14, Zebre Parma takes on tough opponents in the Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup. The team faces top-level competition from across Europe, striving to make a mark and showcase their talent on an international stage. In these high-stakes tournaments, Zebre Parma looks to capitalise on its strengths and build momentum for future success.

The Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup provide Zebre Parma with a platform to test themselves against some of the best teams in European rugby. These competitions offer the opportunity for players to display their skills at a higher level and gain valuable experience that contributes to the growth and development of the team overall.

Zebre Parma Women’s Team

The Zebre Parma Women’s Team was formed to promote women’s rugby in Italy and has achieved notable accomplishments with a talented group of players. Interested to learn more about the rising stars of the Zebre Parma Women’s Team? Keep reading for an exciting insight into their journey and achievements.

Formation of the team

Establishing itself as a professional entity, Zebre Parma was formed in 2012 to represent Italy in Celtic and European competitions. The team has its roots in Milan and emerged from invitational matches played by Italian players.

Since then, the club has transitioned into a formidable franchise competing on international platforms. With an aim to showcase Italy’s rugby talent, Zebre Parma continues to grow from its humble beginnings at the Centro Universitario in Milan.

Reminiscent of their zebra-themed branding, “Zebre” took their first strides onto the Rugby Union stage with aspirations for national recognition and global competitiveness. The team’s journey reflects not just sportsmanship but also resilience and unyielding resolve despite challenges faced along the way.

Accomplishments and players

  1. The team won the Italian Women’s Rugby Championship in 2019, showcasing their prowess in the domestic league.
  2. Alessia Ledeux, a talented fly-half, has been pivotal in the team’s success, leading with exceptional playmaking skills and strategic vision on the field.
  3. Zebre Parma Women’s Team reached the semi – finals of the European Rugby Challenge Cup in 2020, demonstrating their competitiveness at an international level.
  4. Jessica Busato, known for her robust tackling and dynamic ball-carrying ability, has emerged as a standout forward for the team.
  5. In 2018, Zebre Parma Women’s Team secured victory in the prestigious Continental Shield competition, solidifying their reputation as a force to be reckoned with.
  6. Federica Rigoni, a versatile back player with remarkable speed and agility, has been instrumental in driving the team’s attacking prowess and securing crucial tries.


In conclusion, Zebre Rugby Club has a rich history of invitational matches and international success. The team’s dedication to the sport is evident in their strong presence and loyal fan base.

Despite recent challenges, Zebre Parma remains determined to excel in the United Rugby Championship and EPCR competitions. This zebra-themed club continues to make an impact on the global rugby scene, representing Italy with pride.


1. What is the Zebre Rugby Club?

The Zebre Rugby Club is a professional rugby union team that competes in top-tier tournaments.

2. Where is the Zebre Rugby Club based?

Zebre Rugby Club has its home grounds in Parma, Italy, where it represents the area in high-level rugby matches.

3. When did the Zebre Rugby Club form?

Established in 1973, this club has grown to become an important part of Italy’s rugby scene.

4. Who plays for the Zebre Rugby Club team?

Talented players from Italy and around the world join forces to play for the Zebre Rugby Union Club Team.

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