Aironi

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Aironi
Aironi rugby logo.PNG
Founded2010
LocationLombardy & Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Ground(s)Stadio Luigi Zaffanella, Viadana (Capacity: 6,000)
Coach(es)
Rowland Phillips (Head Coach)[1]
Andrea Moretti (Forwards)
Antonio Zanichelli (Backs)
Andrew Scotney (Backs)[2]
Captain(s)Quintin Geldenhuys
League(s)Pro12
2011–1212th
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website
www.aironirugby.eu

Aironi Rugby (Italian pronunciation: [aiˈroni], "herons") was an Italian professional rugby union team competing in the Pro12 and the Heineken Cup, representing the Italian regions of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. It lost its status as a regional side at the end of the 2011-12 season, as the Italian Rugby Federation revoked its licence for financial reasons.[3] They were replaced by Zebre from the 2012-13 season.[4]

Home ground[edit]

The team played in Viadana at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella. It was expected that Reggio Emilia's Stadio Giglio would be used for larger games but no games required its near 30,000 capacity.

Kit[edit]

The team's primary kit was all black with a silver stripe. Their alternative kit was white with a silver stripe. In the Heineken Cup the players wore an all green kit.[5] Their kit was supplied by Adidas.[6]

Member clubs[edit]

The formation of the team was made possible by the co-operation of eight existing rugby clubs Rugby Viadana 54%, Colorno 15%, Gran Parma Rugby 10%, Rugby Parma 10%, Noceto 5%, Reggio Emilia 2%, Modena 2% and Mantova 2%.[7] Gran Parma, Rugby Viadana and Colorno have merged as a result of the formation of Aironi to form GranDucato Rugby Parma.[8] Rugby Parma and Noceto have merged to form Crociati (Crusaders) Rugby Parma.[9][10] These mergers were essential as the Super 10 (now Top12) division would have attracted far less sponsorship.

History[edit]

After several failed attempts, there was doubt that a deal for Italian entry into the Celtic League would be completed in time for the 2010–11 season, with the Scots delaying support for entry until changes were made to the Celtic League management structure. In February 2010 it was announced that the planned expansion of the Celtic League was to be pust on hold. The reasons were the insistence by existing members that the Italian teams could be ejected after three years. Also the financial demands the league placed on the Italians could not be met. The existing teams said this was to cover the need to have larger squads to cover the extra fixtures and additional travel expenses.[11] Agreement was reached in early March 2010 to allow Italian teams entry to the Celtic League in time for the 2010–11 season.[12] The clubs would also be guaranteed places annually into the Heineken Cup that had previously been awarded to the two top teams in the National Championship of Excellence.

Italy had failed to make an impact in the Six Nations Championship tournament since joining 10 years earlier. This was largely blamed on the fact their best players did not have a competitive enough domestic tournament or were forced to play abroad. The fact that the Six Nations decider in 2009 between Wales and Ireland featured 42 Celtic League players out of 44 in their squads supported this notion.[13] Most Italian players played in France's Top 14. In order to ensure the new teams delivered players for the national side the Federazione Italiana Rugby put incentives in place for the new teams. The successful franchises would receive financial support from the FIR to recruit national team players at the time playing abroad and fresh home-grown talent. Signing one of Italy's top players, most of whom play abroad, would net clubs €50,000, while other lesser players, mostly plying their trade in the Italian Super 10 series (Italy's top flight league at the time), would scoop €30,000 and €20,000 bonuses.[14]

It was proposed initially that Aironi would join along with a new team Praetorians Roma,[15] but Benetton Treviso were nominated instead of Roma. Treviso and Duchi Nord-Ovest could not agree to form one club to represent the Veneto region and lost out in the first round of bidding despite the region being the traditional home of Italian rugby.[16] However Roma failed to satisfy the evaluators of their financial muscle and Treviso were nominated in their stead.[17] This was boosted by Treviso's defeat of USA Perpignan in the Heineken Cup. Roma were to be based at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome, where Six Nations matches had been staged.

2010–11 Debut Season[edit]

Aironi had a very difficult debut season. They initially struggled to compete in the Celtic League. Their coach, Franco Bernini, was sacked in November after a run of disappointing losses.[18] They suffered a number of heavy defeats but often when they did lose (particularly at home) they did so by a single score. This is evidenced by the 8 Losing Bonus points received in 22 games.[19] They finally registered their first win against French team Biarritz in December in the Heineken Cup. This was a massive shock as Biarritz had contested the previous year's final.[20] Their first Celtic League win came at home against Connacht on 26 March, which they won 25–13.[21] They finished bottom of the league in 12th.

Squad[edit]

  • Players in bold capped internationally.
  • Players with the symbol * are qualified to play for Italy on residency or dual nationality so not counted as a Non-Italian player in squad.
  • Notes:
    • Players in Italic joined in the winter.

Magners League[edit]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD TF TA Try bonus Losing bonus Pts
1 Ireland Munster 22 19 0 3 496 327 +169 44 22 5 2 83
2 Ireland Leinster 22 15 1 6 495 336 +159 50 25 5 3 70
3 Ireland Ulster 22 15 1 6 480 418 +62 44 35 3 2 67
4 Wales Ospreys 22 12 1 9 553 418 +135 56 29 6 7 63
5 Wales Scarlets 22 12 1 9 503 453 +50 49 43 5 7 62
6 Wales Cardiff Blues 22 13 1 8 479 392 +87 37 33 3 3 60
7 Wales Newport Gwent Dragons 22 10 1 11 444 462 −18 47 49 3 4 49
8 Scotland Edinburgh 22 9 0 13 421 460 −39 39 44 2 5 43
9 Ireland Connacht 22 7 1 14 394 459 −65 32 44 3 6 39
10 Italy Benetton Treviso 22 9 0 13 374 502 −128 29 58 0 2 38
11 Scotland Glasgow Warriors 22 6 1 15 401 543 −142 33 48 1 6 33
12 Italy Aironi 22 1 0 21 247 517 −270 21 52 0 8 12
Correct as of 7 May 2011
4 September 2010
19:30
(1 BP) Munster Ireland 33 – 17 Italy Aironi
Report
Musgrave Park
Attendance: 8,426
Referee: Graham Knox
11 September 2010
19:05
(1 BP) Aironi Italy 15 – 22 Ireland Ulster
Report
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella
Attendance: 4,453
Referee: Stefano Penne
17 September 2010
20:05
(1 BP) Scarlets Wales 49 – 10 Italy Aironi
Report
Parc y Scarlets
Attendance: 6,123
Referee: John Lacey
25 September 2010
18:30
(1 BP) Ospreys Wales 38 – 6 Italy Aironi
Report
Liberty Stadium
Attendance: 7,289
Referee: Andy Macpherson
2 October 2010
19:05
(1 BP) Aironi Italy 9 – 10 Scotland Edinburgh
Report
Stadio Zaffanella
Attendance: 4,053
23 October 2010
18:30
Newport Gwent Dragons Wales 36 – 5 Italy Aironi
Report
Rodney Parade
Attendance: 5,033
Referee: Andrew McMenemy
29 October 2010
19:05
Aironi Italy 3 – 20 Wales Cardiff Blues
Report
Stadio Zaffanella
Attendance: 2,900
Referee: Graham Knox
5 November 2010
19:30
Glasgow Warriors Scotland 33 – 8 Italy Aironi
Report
Firhill Stadium
Attendance: 2,078
27 November 2010
19:05
Aironi Italy 17 – 34 Wales Scarlets (1 BP)
Report
Stadio Zaffanella
Attendance: 2,000
Referee: Andy MacPherson
3 December 2010
19:00
Connacht Ireland P – P Italy Aironi
Sportsground
24 December 2010
14:30
Benetton Treviso Italy 15 – 10 Italy Aironi
Report
Stadio di Monigo
Attendance: 3,500
Referee: Carlo Damasco

2010–11 Heineken Cup pool stage - Pool 4[edit]

Team P W D L Tries for Tries against Try diff Points for Points against Points diff TB LB Pts
France Biarritz (4) 6 4 0 2 16 9 +7 140 86 +55 4 2 22
Ireland Ulster (8) 6 5 0 1 15 8 +7 145 93 +52 2 0 22
England Bath 6 2 0 4 20 8 +12 147 108 +39 3 3 14
Italy Aironi 6 1 0 5 4 30 −26 65 211 −146 0 0 4
8 October 2010
19:30
Ulster Ireland 30 – 6 Italy Aironi
Try: Trimble 21' m
Humphreys 44' m
Danielli 60' c
Pienaar 67' c
Con: Pienaar (0/2)
Humphreys (2/2)
Pen: Pienaar (2/3) 2', 39'
Report Pen: Mercier (2/3) 5', 17'
Ravenhill, Belfast
Attendance: 7,777
Referee: Chris White (England)
16 October 2010
14:30
Aironi Italy 6 – 22 England Bath
Pen: Mercier (2/2) 21', 54'
Report Try: Biggs 12' m
Carraro 23' m
Abendanon 36' c
Watson 67' m
Con: Barkley (1/4)
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella, Viadana
Attendance: 4,000
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
11 December 2010
14:30
Aironi Italy 28 - 27 France Biarritz Olympique
Try: Marshall 38' m
Toniolatti 48' c
Pratichetti 63' c
Con: Tebaldi (2/3)
Pen: Tebaldi (2) 3', 31'
Drop: J. Laharrague 78'
Report Try: Terrain 7' m
Ngwenya 16' c
Balshaw 42' m
Gimenez 58' c
Con: Yachvili (2/4)
Pen: Yachvili 73'
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella
Attendance: 3,000
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
17 December 2010
19:00
Biarritz Olympique France 34 - 3 Italy Aironi
Try: Bosch 10' c
Penalty try 22' c
Ngwenya 46' c
August 56' c
Con: Yachvili (4/4)
Pen: Yachvili (2/2) 2', 16'
Report Pen: Bocchino (1/2) 60'
Parc des Sports Aguiléra
Attendance: 6,816
Referee: Andrew Small (England)
15 January 2011
14:30
Bath England 55 – 16 Italy Aironi
Try: Biggs (2) 9' m, 27' c
Watson (2) 20' c, 77' c
Banahan (4) 29' c, 53' c, 58' c, 70' m
Con: Barkley (6/8)
Pen: Barkley (1/1) 2'
Report Try: Sole 36' c
Con: Marshall (1/1)
Pen: Marshall (3/3) 4', 14', 49'
The Recreation Ground
Attendance: 10,000
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
22 January 2011
14:30
Aironi Italy 6 – 43 Ireland Ulster
Pen: Tebaldi 37'
Drop: Marshall 26'
Report Try: Trimble 23' c
Wannenburg (2) 41' c, 46' c
Penalty try 57' c
Henry 67' c
Danielli 78' m
Con: Humphreys (5/6)
Pen: Humphreys (1/2) 3'
Stadio Luigi Zaffanella
Attendance: 3,000
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)

2011–12 Final Season[edit]

Aironi transfers 2011–12
Pos Out In
PR Substituted off Argentina Ulyses Gamboa (released - joined Scotland Edinburgh)
HK Substituted off Italy Luigi Ferraro (joined Italy Rugby Calvisano) Substituted in Italy Carlo Festuccia (from France Racing-Métro)
Substituted in Italy Tommaso D'Apice (from Italy Roma)
LK Substituted off South Africa Vickus Liebenberg (joined France Aix-en-Provence)
FL Substituted off Italy Aldo Birchall (joined Italy Rugby Calvisano)
Substituted off South Africa Gareth Krause (retired - but then joined South Africa Border Bulldogs in 2012)
Substituted in South Africa Frans Viljoen (from South Africa Cheetahs)
Substituted in Italy Filippo Ferrarini (from Italy Crociati)
N8 Substituted off Italy Jaco Erasmus (joined Italy Rugby Calvisano)
SH Substituted off Italy Pablo Canavosio (joined Italy Rugby Calvisano)
Substituted off Italy Mickey Wilson (released - joined Italy Rovigo)
Substituted in New Zealand Tyson Keats (from New Zealand Hurricanes)
FH Substituted off Italy Riccardo Bocchino (released - joined Italy Cavalieri Prato)
Substituted off New Zealand James Marshall (released - joined New Zealand Tasman)
Substituted in Italy Luciano Orquera (from France Brive)
Substituted in South Africa Naas Oliver (from South Africa Cheetahs)
CE Substituted off South Africa Dylan des Fountain (joined South Africa Lions)
Substituted off Argentina Horacio San Martin (released - France Périgueux)
Substituted in Italy Andrea Masi (from France Racing-Métro)
WG Substituted off South Africa Danwel Demas (joined South Africa Boland)
Substituted off France Julien Laharrague (released - joined France Lourdes)
Substituted off Italy Giulio Rubini (released - joined Italy Crociati)
Substituted in Samoa Sinoti Sinoti (from New Zealand Hawkes Bay)
FB Substituted in Italy Ruggero Trevisan (from Italy Crociati Parma Rugby FC)
Coach

Aironi again struggled in the Pro12 league and finished last. However they did record four victories, including a notable home win over defending champions Munster[36] and eventual Heineken Cup Semi-finalists Edinburgh.[37][38] In a very tough Heineken Cup group they failed to record any win, or even a losing bonus point. In March Aironi announced they were in financial difficulty. The FIR decided to withdraw their licence for the upcoming season, the death knell for Aironi.

Viadana, the primary club behind Aironi applied to take the vacant place in the Pro12 but this was rejected by the FIR.[39] In June 2012 it was announced that the new franchise would be known as Zebre, which would be based in Parma and be built around Italian players.[40]

Pro12 Table watch · edit · discuss
Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points For Points Against Points Difference Tries For Tries Against Try Bonus Losing Bonus Points
1 Ireland Leinster (F) 22 18 1 3 568 326 +242 48 28 5 2 81
2 Wales Ospreys (C) 22 16 1 5 491 337 +154 44 22 2 3 71
3 Ireland Munster (SF) 22 14 1 7 489 367 +122 45 27 5 4 67
4 Scotland Glasgow Warriors (SF) 22 13 4 5 445 321 +124 34 23 2 3 65
5 Wales Scarlets 22 12 2 8 446 373 +73 43 30 5 5 62
6 Ireland Ulster 22 12 0 10 474 424 +50 53 41 5 3 56
7 Wales Cardiff Blues 22 10 0 12 446 460 −14 43 45 5 5 50
8 Ireland Connacht 22 7 1 14 321 433 −112 27 36 0 7 37
9 Wales Newport Gwent Dragons 22 7 1 14 370 474 −104 27 41 1 5 36
10 Italy Benetton Treviso 22 7 0 15 419 558 −139 41 57 3 5 36
11 Scotland Edinburgh 22 6 1 15 454 588 −134 42 65 2 4 32
12 Italy Aironi 22 4 0 18 289 551 −262 22 54 1 5 22

If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:[41]

  1. number of matches won;
  2. the difference between points for and points against;
  3. the number of tries scored;
  4. the most points scored;
  5. the difference between tries for and tries against;
  6. the fewest number of red cards received;
  7. the fewest number of yellow cards received.
Green background (rows 1 to 4) are play-off places. Qualification for the Heineken Cup is based on each country's allocation, i.e. three highest-ranked Irish teams, three highest-ranked Welsh teams, both Italian teams and both Scottish teams. Because Leinster won the 2012 Heineken Cup Final, Ireland earned an extra Heineken Cup place, which will go to Connacht. Aironi were denied a licence for the 2012–13 season due to financial issues; the newly established Zebre side replaced Aironi in the Pro12 and Heineken Cup.

Updated 5 May 2012. Source: RaboDirect PRO12

Squad 2011–12 - Final Season[edit]

[42] 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
Tommaso D'Apice Hooker Italy Italy
Antonio Denti Hooker Italy Italy
Davide Giazzon** Hooker Italy Italy
Fabio Ongaro Hooker Italy Italy
Roberto Santamaria Hooker Italy Italy
Matías Agüero Prop Italy Italy
Alberto de Marchi Prop Italy Italy
Andrea de Marchi Prop Italy Italy
Salvatore Perugini Prop Italy Italy
Luca Redolfini Prop Italy Italy
Lorenzo Romano Prop Italy Italy
Fabio Staibano Prop Italy Italy
George Biagi Lock Italy Italy
Marco Bortolami Lock Italy Italy
Filippo Cazzola** Lock Italy Italy
Carlo Del Fava Lock Italy Italy
Joshua Furno Lock Italy Italy
Quintin Geldenhuys (c) Lock Italy Italy
Andrea Benatti Flanker Italy Italy
Mauro Bergamasco Flanker Italy Italy
Nicola Cattina Flanker Italy Italy
Simone Favaro Flanker Italy Italy
Filippo Ferrarini Flanker Italy Italy
Frans Viljoen Flanker South Africa South Africa
Josh Sole Number 8 Italy Italy
Nick Williams Number 8 New Zealand New Zealand
Player Position Union
Giorgio Bronzini Scrum-half Italy Italy
Tyson Keats Scrum-half New Zealand New Zealand
Tito Tebaldi Scrum-half Italy Italy
Naas Olivier Fly-half South Africa South Africa
Luciano Orquera Fly-half Italy Italy
Alberto Benettin Centre Italy Italy
Gilberto Pavan Centre Italy Italy
Gabriel Pizarro Centre Italy Italy
Matteo Pratichetti Centre Italy Italy
Roberto Quartaroli Centre Italy Italy
Riccardo Pavan** Wing Italy Italy
Kaine Robertson Wing Italy Italy
Sinoti Sinoti Wing Samoa Samoa
Giulio Toniolatti Wing Italy Italy
Giovanbattista Venditti Wing Italy Italy
Paolo Buso Fullback Italy Italy
Andrea Masi Fullback Italy Italy
Ruggero Trevisan Fullback Italy Italy

**World Cup Cover

Transfers[edit]

Players Out 2012–2013[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Rugby Union Tournaments | RaboDirect PRO12". Planet Rugby. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
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  4. ^ "Zebre will replace Aironi for Italy". RTÉ News. 2012-06-07.
  5. ^ [1] Archived 29 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
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  13. ^ Roberts, Gareth (21 March 2009). "Wales 15-17 Ireland". BBC Sport. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
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  17. ^ "Italians' bid to join league not a done deal". The Irish Times. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  18. ^ "RTÉ Sport: Phillips named new Aironi coach". Rte.ie. 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  19. ^ "RaboDirectPRO12 : Match Centre : Competition Table". Magnersleague.com. 2011-08-15. Archived from the original on 16 October 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  20. ^ '+ dateCreated +' (2010-12-11). "Rugby Union News | Match Report | Aironi Rugby v Biarritz - 11th December 2010". Sky Sports. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  21. ^ "RaboDirectPRO12 : Match Centre : Fixtures & Results : Fixtures List". Magnersleague.com. 2009-03-03. Archived from the original on 18 September 2009. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  22. ^ http://www.northlondon-today.co.uk/tn/Sport.cfm?id=17685&headline=Brits%20cleared%20to%20play%20in%20final%20but%20Venter%20handed%20touchline%20ban
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2017. Retrieved 28 January 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  41. ^ Competition Rule 3.5 "Summary of Key Rules". Pro12. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
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  50. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/19477383

External links[edit]