Aironi have announced that six players have signed up to bolster the squad ahead of next season.
Tommaso D’Apice, a 22 year old hooker , played for Aironi under permit last season, against Newport Gwent Dragons , Munster and Leinster during the Six Nations period.
D’Apice will join his cousin Joshua Furno, the young lock who starred for the Italian side last season, in the Aironi squad. Both are included in the Italy A squad for the upcoming Churchill Cup.
D’Apice joins Aironi from Rugby Roma after two seasons in the Italian championship.
Aironi have also signed up scrum half Tyson Keats, a former back-to-back champion for Canterbury in the Air New Zealand Cup who also played with the Hurricanes during the last two years of Super Rugby – making 20 appearances and scoring 4 tries, having previously made three appearances for The Crusaders in 2009. Aironi hope that Keates’ addition will assure a faster pace around the rucks.
Naas Olivier also arrives from Super Rugby. Considered one of the most underrated talents in South African rugby Olivier carved out a role with Griquas and Cheetahs during the last few seasons. In 2010 he had his best year scoring 112 points for the Cheetahs (his overall Super Rugby total is 241) and his vision of the game and kicking accuracy willcover one of the biggest gaps Aironi showed during their first season.
Olivier will fight for a starting role with Italian international Luciano Orquera. The Argentinian-born fly-half returns to play for an Italian team after six years in France with Auch and Brive. Orquera progressed to play Test rugby for Italy during a spell with Petrarca Padova. His Italy debut, against Canada in 2004, was followed by a run in the 2005 Six Nations, where he started every game, but he then spend three years away from the international landscape. He return to the Azzurri in 2008 and in November 2010 started at half-back during the winning match against Fiji. He also played in every game of 2011 Six Nations. Orquera brings to Aironi all his international experience with 22 caps #and 26 appearances in both the Heineken and Challenge Cups with 4 tries and 155 total points.
The other two new boys are young Italian talents, both coming from Crociati Parma. Fullback Ruggero Trevisan and flanker Filippo Ferrarini surprised during their first ever campaign in the Italian Eccellenza, having a big role in helping Crociati to reach a spot in the semi-finals. Trevisan has also gained a spot in the Italy A team that will play in this month’s Churchill Cup.