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Matteo Minozzi becomes the latest Wasps player to find a new club

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

Matteo Minozzi has become the latest player to find new employment following last month’s dramatic financial collapse of Wasps. The Italian full-back was one of 167 players and staff made redundant after the Gallagher Premiership fell into administration on October 17. However, he has now landed himself a new club just over a fortnight later, agreeing to join Benetton until the end of June 2023 with an option to extend through to summer 2025.

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The 26-year-old had come through the ranks at Calvisano and Zebre before moving to England in 2019 to join Wasps, but he only made a total of 35 appearances due to injury issues. Indeed, his start to the 2022/23 season was hampered by a fresh hamstring problem, Minozzi departing Wasps’ opening match of the season after just six minutes at Kingsholm in September.

At the time, Wasps boss Lee Blackett commented: “Matteo is a hamstring and it’s not as bad as feared. We will probably know more in the next week or so but at the moment the estimate is between six and eight weeks.”

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That timeframe would put him on course to be fit for Benetton in mid-to-late November after they decided to sign the Italian international who has 25 caps. Antonio Pavanello, the URC club’s general manager, said: “Minozzi’s opportunity arises from the failure of the Wasps.

“At that point, we immediately moved in order to bring to Treviso a player who is an expression of the Italian movement, a player with qualities that are not easily found in other Italian backs. Matteo will have the opportunity to get back into the game at a club that will certainly support him in this process and we hope that he will be able to give the team that extra something to finalize what has been built ”

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Minozzi added: “Following the failure of Wasps, a club where I played for three seasons, I found myself in a situation that I never thought I would have experienced in my sporting career. In light of this unfortunate circumstance, I had to make some important decisions for my life and I felt that Treviso was the best place at this time in my career.

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“Benetton Rugby is a club that in recent years has shown itself to be solid, serious, and competitive against every European team and professionalism is one of the pillars on which it is founded, which is why my decision was simple. In Treviso, I will find friends with whom I have played for years and therefore I hope to feel at home immediately.

“My goals in the green-and-white jersey on a personal level are: to find continuity and minutes, which have been missed in recent years due to numerous injuries; work hard to win the trust of staff and teammates, and find a place in the team. As for the team objectives, win as much as possible and one day win some trophies, as happened in the recent past such as the Rainbow Cup.

“Finally, it is very important for me to start a new challenge with the Benetton Rugby shirt; it will be a challenge first of all with myself. Now I feel like a child on the first day of school: impatient to start, excited for the new adventure, with the desire to learn, improve myself and return to the field with my new mates.”

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