Andrea Manici, the young Parma hooker, will be a RaboDirect PRO12 rookie in the Zebre roster and declared: "It will be important that Parma supports us"
Last Friday, 13th of July, we approached one of the three young Parmesans on Zebre's roster after training on the pitch at Moletolo which ended the second week of preparation under the direction of Christian Gajan’s staff.
Andrea, tell us about your experience after two weeks of work with the Zebras in preparation for the 2012/13 season.
It's an important experience for me, one unique chance that has been given this year. I see a good group of players: young, very close-knit with a great desire to do and prove they can play at this level. I think the city should support our team because it will be very important for us to have an audience that is enthusiastic to see us play there and give us its support.
Andrea has many friends in his hometown given that he’s worn the shirts of Gran Parma Rugby, Granducato, and last year Crociati. All of them are top level Italian teams that led to this experience in pro rugby. How do you expect your RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup debuts to go?
I’m working again with many friends on this team – Filippo Ferrarini, who I’ve known since childhood, and Tito Tebaldi. We also have Carlo Festuccia and Flavio Tripodi (front row teammates at Crociati last season) as well as Michael Van Vuren. It will be a wonderful experience with lots of very high level games given that in the RaboDirect PRO12 we will be taking on the best teams in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
This afternoon you were under the orders of the scrum coach, Vincenzo Troiani, a coach that you know well for your time in the Italy Under-20 team.
Yes I did a year with him within the Italy Under-20 team in conjunction with the Academy in Tirrenia. I got on very well with Vincenzo. He's a very quiet person who really wants to teach rugby; he really has got passion for this sport.
ANDREA MANICI, hooker, was born in Parma on 28th April of 1990
He played in two junior Rugby World Cups and two Under-20 Six Nations with Italy (2009 & 2010). He spent the last three years in the main Italian league collecting 41 caps and scoring 5 tries. During last season at Crociati he began his ERC career with 4 caps in the Amlin Challenge Cup.