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Italian minnows Zebre have officially changed their name

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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Italian URC franchise Zebre have announced a name change, revealing they will now compete in their revamped 16-team league that used to be the PRO14, and in Europe’s Challenge Cup, as Zebre Parma in the hope of enhancing the appeal of their local city. 


It was 2012 when Zebre, the subject of a behind the scenes documentary filmed by RugbyPass some years ago, were first established following the abortive two-year lifespan of Aironi, who along with Treviso were the teams put forward by the Italian rugby federation to join the Celtic League in 2010.   

With the city regularly hosting teams from Ireland, Scotland Wales and now South Africa, Zebre have moved to make their club more readily identifiable by adding Parma to their name. 

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What happened when RugbyPass went behind the scenes at Zebre
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What happened when RugbyPass went behind the scenes at Zebre

A statement about the name change read: “The decision to change the club’s name for competition purposes has a significant symbolic and strategic value as with this initiative, Zebre Parma intend to further strengthen their ties with the city of Parma as well as with the region which has hosted the Italian national team since 2012.

“Zebre have already proudly displayed the logo of ‘Parma UNSECO City of Gastronomy’ on their match day kit. Now a new feature this year, in addition to the logo of ‘Parma Capitale Italiana della Cultura 2021/22’ on the Macron-branded kits will be the decision to promote the name Zebre Parma in the official communications of the United Rugby Championship and the European Challenge Cup.”

Club chairman Michele Dalai explained: “In April we began a process of getting closer to the city, its institutions and its people who see our new name, Zebre Parma, as an important milestone. 


“In a tournament such as the EPCR Challenge Cup, it is essential to have an identity and that identity can be easily traced back to a context, to a precise physical location. Parma is the city where we play, where our players live and which we are proud to represent in Europe and around the world.”


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