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Paolo Odogwu pens new deal to stay in Italy

By Josh Raisey
Paolo Odogwu of Benetton Treviso during the United Rugby Championship match between Zebre and Benetton Treviso at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on December 23, 2023 in Parma, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Levati/Getty Images)

Italy centre Paolo Odogwu has signed a new deal with United Rugby Championship outfit Benetton until 2027.

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The six-cap Italy international arrived at the Italian club at the beginning of the season after spending a short stint in the Top 14 with Stade Francais. He joined the Parisian club after Wasps went bust at the end of 2022.

After earning his first cap for the Azzurri last year, the former England U20 international has decided to stay in Italy for the foreseeable future.

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Odogwu, 26, is set to miss this year’s Guinness Six Nations championship and beyond after rupturing his Achilles in December, meaning he will also be unable to help Benetton continue with their strong start to the season, where they sit in second place in the URC.

After signing a new deal, Odogwu said (translated on Google): “I am very happy to have renewed the contract with Benetton Rugby for another three years. I’ve been feeling very comfortable since I arrived in Treviso and I’ve felt perfectly welcomed since the first day here, both by the team and the fans.

“We have a very strong team, a great group made up of the right mix of experienced players and young players on the rise. I feel that all together we are building something very important for the future and I want to be part of it.”

Benetton director of rugby Antonio Pavanello added: “We continue the announcements regarding contract extensions, making Paolo’s confirmation official for the next three sporting seasons. Odogwu is a flexible player, capable of covering both the centre and wing roles.

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“Furthermore, in the matches played he had demonstrated considerable qualities in terms of explosiveness and physicality, both very important to make our attack dangerous.

“Unfortunately, the injury interrupted his ascent but we are sure that upon his return he will start making his contribution again as he has demonstrated his ability to do in recent months.”

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J
Jon 2 hours ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up there with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s (over the years), I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

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