Zebras draft in two club players

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The Italian Rugby Federation has made available two permit players from their respective clubs in the main italian league “Eccellenza”, Rugby Reggio’s winger Alessandro Castagnoli and Cavalieri Prato’s centre Ross McCann to the Italian Franchise for the game against Ulster on Sunday in Parma.

Both youngsters have grown up in the area of the new club and have impressed in recent performances with their clubs.

Zebre’s director of rugby Roberto Manghi: “I thank on behalf of the Italian Rugby Union and of Zebras the two clubs that have allowed us to use the players to replace Orquera and Venditti, our italian international capped with the Saturday match against the AllBlacks in Rome.

“Several injuries have necessitated this choice, we have decided to provide an opportunity to these two players who have demonstrated skills and abilities to express themselves at this level in the italian Elleccelnza, a league that we follow with much interest”.

Castagnoli, born in 1988, grew up in the Amatori Parma club, has earned five seasons in the top italian league with the mesh of Gran Parma Rugby, Granducato and Rugby Reggio where he played last season scoring a try in 18 appereances.

He wore the shirt of the Italian national Under-20 and, thanks to his talent, Castagnoli received the call in the Italy Seven for its tour of last summer.

Ross McCann, born in Irvine, Scotland in 1989, he wore the jerseys of Garnock Rugby Club and Glasgow Hawks before moving to Italy.

He matured during his italian experiences with Rugby Viadana, Gran Parma Rugby, Granducato, and Crociati.

Since last summer McCann he’s part of Cavalieri Prato in the Amlin Challenge Cup and in main italian league “Eccellenza”.

The centre has been selected for the Scottish national youth teams U17, U18 and U19. Eligible for Italy since 2009 he wore the Azzurri jersey of Italy Seven.