Rugby Viadana

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Rugby Viadana
Rugby viadana badge.png
Union Federazione Italiana Rugby
Founded 1970; 45 years ago (1970)
Location Viadana, Italy
Ground(s) Stadio Luigi Zaffanella (Capacity: 6,000)
Chairman Unknown
Coach(es) Wales Rowland Phillips
Captain(s) Italy Roberto Santamaria
League(s) National Championship of Excellence
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Rugby Viadana is an Italian rugby union club based in Viadana (province of Mantua, Lombardy). The club was established in 1970, and has since won the Italian championship in 2002, and the Coppa Italia three times. They also compete in European rugby competitions and were runners-up in the European Shield in 2004. Viadana plays in yellow and black. The club did not compete professionally between 2010-2012 as they focused their efforts on Aironi. Aironi was based at Viadana's home ground and represented a number of regional teams in the multi-national Celtic League. The FIR withdrew Aironi's licence to play at the end of the 2012 so Viadana reformed as a professional team. Former Aironi Coach Rowland Phillips is now Viadana Head Coach. They will be playing in 2013/14 Amlin Challenge Cup. They will be playing in Pool 4 along with Bayonne, Grenoble and London Wasps.

The reformed professional Viadana club will play in Italy's top division in 2012/13, the National Championship of Excellence.


They were founded in 1970 as a rugby sector in the Vitellianense Cebogas Multisports Club by some ex-Rugby Parma players. They started in the lowest possible league, Serie D.

In 1980-1981 Viadana won Serie B but after three years the team were relegated back to Serie C. But they bounced back the following year and won promotion back to Serie B. 1986-1987 they won promotion to Serie A2 and finished sixth in their first year. However they were relegated back the following year and didn't return for three years.

They finally won promotion to Serie A in 1998-1999. In their first season Viadana won the Italian Cup and made it to the semi-final of the play-offs. In 2000-2001 they finished third in the league but again lost in the semi-final play-offs to Benetton Treviso.

In 2002 the Italian championship was reformed with the birth of Super 10 (now National Championship of Excellence). During this season Viadana finished first and beat favourites Benetton Treviso in the play-offs to win the title for the first time. They were the first team from outside a provincial capital to do so. They won the Italian Cup a second time in 2003.

In 2004 they became the first (and so far only) Italian team to have made the final of a European competition when they lost the European Shield final 19-25 to Montpellier. In 2007 they defeated Cammi Calvisano to win their third Coppa Italia. In 2008, despite their relatively experienced team, Viadana were beaten in the semi-finals by Benetton Treviso and subsequently lost out on a lucrative Heineken Cup place.

Viadana were the largest shareholders in Aironi, a new team that competed in the 2010/11 and 2012/12 Magners League. Many of the club's top players joined Aironi on its formation. As of June 2010 it was announced that will the impending establishment of Aironi the club would no longer compete as a professional club. The senior and U-20 teams would be merged with GranDucato Parma Rugby. Viadana would continue as an independent club but only below U-20 level.[1] The club would maintain a senior team but only an amateur one. Any promising players would be diverted to GranDucato, and ultimately Aironi and the national team.

At the end of the 2012 Aironi's licence to play in the Magners League was withdrawn by the FIR. Viadana was then reformed as a professional team, with a number of Aironi's players joining them. Aironi's place in the Centic League was taken by newly formed Zebre, a team based in Parma. Many Aironi players joined Zebre on its formation.[2]

Squad 2012/2013[edit]

[3] Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Antonio Denti Hooker Italy Italy
Anton Gatti Hooker Italy Italy
Roberto Santamaria (c) Hooker Italy Italy
Mattia Cagna Prop Italy Italy
Paddy Ryan Prop Ireland Ireland
Riccardo Cagna Prop Italy Italy
Giulio Cenedese Prop Italy Italy
Jack Gilding Prop England England
Matteo Manghi Prop Italy Italy
Luca Marchini Prop Italy Italy
Adriaan Fondse Lock South Africa South Africa
Matteo Minari Lock Italy Italy
Liviu Pascu Lock Romania Romania
Ruehan Van Jaarsveld Lock South Africa South Africa
Andrea Barbieri Flanker Italy Italy
Padrò Gonzalo Flanker Italy Italy
Federico Manuini Flanker Italy Italy
Pietro Moreschi Flanker Italy Italy
Player Position Union
Giorgio Bronzini Scrum-half Italy Italy
John Apperley* Fly-half England England
Cipriani Giovanni Fly-half Italy Italy
Nicolò Albano Centre Italy Italy
Anthony Fenner Centre England England
Gilberto Pavan Centre Italy Italy
Gabriel Pizarro* Centre Argentina Argentina
Abou Souaré Centre
Giorgio Tizzi Centre Italy Italy
Riccardo Pavan Wing Italy Italy
Kaine Robertson Wing Italy Italy
Nicolas Amadasi Fullback Italy Italy
Nicolas Sintich Fullback Italy Italy
  • Dual qualified to play for Italy *
  • Internationally capped players in Bold

Notable former players[edit]


  • Coppa Italia:
    • Champions: 2000, 2003, 2007, 2013 (Trofeo Eccellenza)
  • Division 2:
    • Promoted: 1998-99
  • Division 3:
    • Promoted: 1986-87, 1992–93
  • Division 4:
    • Promoted: 1980-81, 1984–85
  • Division 5:
    • Promoted: 1971-72


European Challenge Cup[edit]

Season Played Won Drawn Lost For Against
2000-01 4 0 0 4 78 147
2001-02 6 2 0 4 120 210
(Shield) 2003-04 7 5 0 2 250 166
2003-04 2 1 0 1 41 61
2004-05 4 3 0 1 184 50
2005-06 6 0 0 6 81 244
2006-07 6 2 0 4 114 145
2008-09 6 3 0 3 120 126

Heineken Cup[edit]

Season Played Won Drawn Lost For Against
2002-03 6 0 0 6 128 348
2007-08 6 0 0 6 106 208

See also[edit]


External links[edit]