Marco Bortolami

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Marco Bortolami
Marco Bortolami 2014-1.jpg
Birth nameMarco Bortolami
Date of birth (1980-06-12) 12 June 1980 (age 40)
Place of birthPadua, Veneto, Italy
Height1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight112 kg (247 lb; 17.6 st)
SchoolNorthern Elementary
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Correct as of 25 November 2014
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
Italy A
Correct as of 14 February 2015
Teams coached
Years Team
2016– Benetton (Assistant Coach)

Marco Bortolami ([ˈmarko bɔrtoˈlami]; born 12 June 1980) is an Italian international rugby union player, playing club rugby for Zebre in the Pro14. In January 2008 he was replaced as captain of Italy's national team.

Club career[edit]

Bortolami began his playing career with the team of his native Padua, making his debut in the second row aged just 18.

In the summer of 2006 he joined English Premiership side Gloucester Rugby when he was considered by many top judges to be one of the best players in the world around the time, and stepped straight into the starting team for their first game of the season, immediately taking the role of captain. He made a formidable partnership with Alex Brown and shared captaincy with Peter Buxton. Due to injuries and World Cup commitments, the 2007–08 season wasn't as consistent and he lost the Italian captaincy to Italian No. 8 Sergio Parisse, but continued to put in powerful performances for Gloucester. His outstanding leadership qualities meant he kept the captaincy last year and by the end of the season he was back to his formidable best. He made 23 appearances for Gloucester in 2008–09.

In 2010 he returned to Italy signing for the new Aironi team which started to compete in the Celtic League from the 2010–11 season. After Aironi folded due to financial problems, Bortolami signed for the new franchise Zebre in the Pro12 for the 2012/13 season.

On 7 May 2016, Bortolami announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect.[1]

International career[edit]

Bortolami was soon made captain of Italy's Under-21 side, before making his full international debut against Namibia in June, 2001, when he was just 20. At the age of 22, Bortalami was made Italy's youngest ever captain.

In his first-ever World Cup start – against Tonga in 2003 – he picked up an injury and missed the decisive match against Wales, which saw the Azzurri eliminated from the competition.

After impressing in the 2004 Six Nations Championship, he was once again awarded the captaincy for the 2005 Summer tour of Japan. After the tour he joined French club Narbonne.

In the 2007 Six Nations Championship, Bortolami led Italy to their first away win in the competition against Scotland at Murrayfield, which was also the first time Italy have won more than one game in a single Six Nations Championship.

Bortolami suffered an injury against Australia in June 2012.

In May 2013, it was announced that he was returning to the international stage.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Bortolami left Zebre at the end of the Celtic League 2015/16 season, and became Assistant Coach at Benetton Treviso from the start of the 2016/17 season.[3]

Other information[edit]

In an interview in 2006, Bortolami stated that he wishes to become a mechanic for Ferrari after he retires from professional rugby, using the mechanical skills that he picked up in college. Shortly after the interview had taken place, he received a letter from Ferrari offering him a position as soon as he completed his rugby career. Something must be changed since then because now Bortolami is coaching the touche for Benetton Treviso in Italy, after his last match on May the 7th 2016.


  1. ^ "Marco Bortolami announces his retirement from rugby". Sky Sports. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2017.
  2. ^ rbs6nations, Bortolami happy to be back with Italy, 1 June 2013
  3. ^

External links[edit]