Former Connacht mentor gets Zebre job
NEWS: Michael Bradley has been named the head coach of the new restructured Zebre Rugby Club based in Parma.
The franchise, who is under the control of the Italian Rugby Federation (FIR), announced the appointement on Tuesday.
The 55-year old Bradley, a former Connacht and Edinburgh coach, has joined from Georgia, where he was the assistant coach and contributed to reaching the 12th place in the World Rugby ranking.
Bradley, who has been identified by Italy's Head Coach Conor O'Shea to ensure full technical alignment between the National Team and the two PRO12 sides, will be supported by Carlo Orlandi as forwards coach and by Alessandro Troncon as backs coach.
Both Orlandi and Troncon served as Italy's assistants under Nick Mallett and Jacques Brunel and recently brought Italy Under-20 to their best ever World U20 Championship placement, reaching the Top8 in Georgia.
Giovanni Biondi will be the new head of strength and conditioning after being involved as an assistant with the National Team and leading the conditioning program at the U18 Academy of Remedello.
He will report to Pete Atkinson, FIR's Head of Human Performance. Andrea De Rossi, a former Italy captain, has been confirmed as Team Manager.
Operational management will be under Andrea Dalledonne's supervision: announced as Zebre's CEO by the FIR Board earlier in the month, the Bologna-born 63-year-old has a long and successful experience in the management control and joined Zebre from Mille Miglia.
Dalledonne, who will report to FIR Board, will be joined by Diego Rivetti as economical auditor, started operating on Monday, July 24th meeting players, coaching staff and employers in Parma alongside FIR's President, Alfredo Gavazzi.
Alfredo Gavazzi, FIR President, said: "Competing in the PRO12 is the main asset for keeping on developing our elite rugby program and being back in control of Zebre will ensure targets are totally aligned both on and off the field.
"I'd like to thank people who have worked over the last couple of years managing the franchise, but it's crucial today to make this Club an example.
"Andrea Dalledonne is a brilliant professional, with a proven track of records, and we've no doubt he will make the Franchise operating at its best, developing the commercial area and keeping the Club healthy and effective. We're glad to have him onboard,"
"In terms of the coaching side: Mike Bradley has been suggested by Conor O'Shea in person, has a solid experience both in PRO12 and on the international stage and will grant consistency between Zebre and Italy.
"Orlandi and Troncon are part of our technical project from many years, as Italy's assistants first and within our elite youth pathway then. Troncon has been already involved with Zebre as well in the past and will bring his knowledge of the environment too.
"Finally, Giovanni Biondi is a young and brilliant PT coach and will get a lot of experience from working with Zebre, an experience he will be able to transfer to many other young fitness coaches in the future,"