Michele Rizzo

Michele Rizzo
Michele Rizzo cropped.jpg
Michele Rizzo in 2013
Birth name Michele Rizzo
Date of birth (1982-09-16) 16 September 1982 (age 38)
Place of birth Dolo, Italy
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 115 kg (254 lb; 18.1 st)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Loosehead Prop / Hooker
Youth career
1992–01 Petrarca
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2001–09 Petrarca 103 (35)
2009–14 Benetton Treviso 92 (20)
2014–18 Leicester Tigers 38 (10)
2017 β†’Edinburgh 8 (0)
2018–20 Petrarca 24 (5)
Correct as of 27 March 2020
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2002–03
2004–09
2005–17
Italy U21
Italy A
Italy
4
12
23
(5)
(0)
(5)
Correct as of 27 March 2020
Teams coached
Years Team
2018–20
2020–
Petrarca (U18)
Verona (U18)
Correct as of 14 May 2020

Michele Rizzo (born 16 September 1982) is a retired Italian former rugby union player. His preferred position was prop but he can also play as a hooker. Rizzo last played for Petrarca, the club where he spent most of his career and where he made his debut in Serie A1 halfway through the 2000–01 season in a match against Viadana. He spent four years between 2014–2018 in England playing 38 times (scoring 2 tries) for Leicester Tigers.

Career

Rizzo was born in Dolo, province of Venice, but spent his early years living in Padua where he attended the Istituto professionale alberghiero Pietro d'Abano. He grew up playing for Petrarca alongside his younger brother Marco, of which he also was the captain for two seasons (2007–08 and 2008–09).[1] With the reputation of being a solid and aggressive player, good in scrummage but who also loves playing ball in hand with surprising speed, Rizzo was seen as one of the best young Italian props. He has been capped by the Italy national rugby union team, making his debut playing 4 minutes against Australia in 2005. He was part of the Italy "A" squad that finished as runners-up at the 2009 IRB Nations Cup. In the same year, he joined Benetton Treviso, where he formed one of the best cores of props in the league alongside Lorenzo Cittadini and Alberto De Marchi. With Benetton, Rizzo won a Scudetto and Coppa Italia double in 2009–10.

In 2012, Rizzo was selected by Italy's head coach Jacques Brunel to play in his first Six Nations. On 23 June 2014, Rizzo along with teammate Leonardo Ghiraldini made his move to join Leicester Tigers in the English Aviva Premiership from the 2014–15 season.[2] In the same year, after playing in the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, Rizzo tored his ACL, in the same knee where he suffered another bad injury in 2002, missing the rest of the season. He spent the early part of the 2017–18 season for Edinburgh Rugby of the Pro14[3] on a short term emergency loan. He returned to Leicester in December and was immediately named in the club's Champions' Cup squad. On 30 May 2018, Rizzo returned to Petrarca[4] on a two years deal where he ended his career.

Rizzo announced his retirement on March 27, 2020, age 37.[5] During his career, Rizzo was one of many Italian rugby players under contract with Japanese sports equipment Asics. On June 2009, he married his girlfriend Silvia Rampazzo, the couple have two children, Sara and Giulio. He lives in Verona where he works as a under-18 coach for Verona Rugby.

Honours

References

  1. ^ "Michele Rizzo's profile (Italian)". Benetton Rugby Treviso. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Leicester Tigers sign Italian prop Michele Rizzo". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Rizzo joins Edinburgh on short-term loan". Edinburgh Rugby. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Leicester Tigers forward Michele Rizzo is set to return to Italy". Leicester Mercury. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  5. ^ https://www.federugby.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14475:michele-rizzo-23-caps-azzurri-annuncia-il-ritiro-dal-rugby&catid=109:italia&Itemid=1022

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