Italy international Alessandro Zanni announces retirement to join Benetton's coaching panel

Alessandro Zanni has played 119 Tests for Italy
Alessandro Zanni has played 119 Tests for Italy
©Steve Haag

Italy international Alessandro Zanni has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect to take up a coaching job with Benetton Treviso.

Zanni was part of Benetton since 2009 and made close to 150 appearances for them in a span of 11 seasons. The 36-year-old made his Italy debut in 2005 and has gone on to play 119 Tests for them and is the second-most capped player alongside Martin Castrogiovanni and behind Sergio Parisse.

He was also part of 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 World Cup campaigns for Italy scoring two tries from 11 matches.

"I've always worked to return the trust shown in me by the coaches who gave me the privilege of wearing the national team shirt. At 36, it's time to look beyond that," Zanni said in a statement from the Italian rugby federation.

Meanwhile, Italy's Dean Budd also has announced retirement from international rugby after playing 29 Tests for them between 2017 and 2020. He also captained the side against Canada in last year's World Cup.

"I want to thank all of Italian rugby for these eight years spent together. When I arrived from Japan in 2012, I would never have dreamed of being able to live this fantastic adventure that Italy gave me," Budd said in a statement.


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