Zebras to take over from Aironi


Rugby:A new Italian franchise the Zebras will replace Aironi in next season’s RaboDirect Pro12 competition.

The Italian Rugby Federation has confirmed that “Zebre” will be based in Parma and play at the XXV Aprile Stadium, which is currently being refurbished and expanded.

Aironi lost their status as a regional team last month when the IRF revoked their licence for financial reasons.

Appointments announced for the new team include Roberto Manghi as rugby director, Christian Gajan as technical director, with Vincenzo Troiani and former Italy scrumhalf Alessandro Troncon taking coaching duties.

Former Italy hooker Fabio Ongaro, meanwhile, will take up the team manager’s role after announcing his playing retirement.