FOCUS ON ITALIAN RUGBY
What is different at Zebre this season? We’re a very young team – we recruited 11 new signings over the summer. The positive thing is we know our game plan as we’ve got the same coaches as last year. We’re used to seeing you on the big stage. How have you changed? We feel better with our attacking game plan, mostly because it all passes through our fly-half. I feel comfortable playing this way, but I want to improve during the season. How? I want to improve my penalty kicks and conversions. And then, in open games, I want to become one of the best offloaders and passers… and also carrying too!
Can Zebre surprise anyone this season? We want to be more consistent, then more competitive – most of all during the international window when we normally struggle. We have a deeper roster now. We have confidence we can improve on last season, when we had seven wins in the Pro14 and one in Europe. What have you done to improve your own confidence? I’m getting more of the ball in my hands. In attack I’m very comfortable, but I need to improve my defence. What do you do away from rugby? I love walking around Parma with my fiancée – it is a beautiful town. I love to play FIFA on PlayStation too. Giulio Bisegni is my biggest rival. How do you encourage more people to come to watch Zebre? There are several people working on marketing. But the players also like to be involved in interacting away from the pitch, because it’s important for our supporters to trust the brand and the people of Zebre.
That will help our credibility as a club, and if we are like that outside the 80 minutes, we will have more people at the box office.
Ten at the teeCarlo Canna
High rise Zebre lineout