Suffolk’s highest competing rugby club have successfully brought in a trio of Italians to help them in their bid for Championship status.
Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club have brought in Dimitri Tonni as junior academy head coach and transition manager, hooker Federico Silvestri and tight-head prop Daniele Greco.
An Italian professional player with junior caps to his name, 24-year-old Silvestri has joined from Italian Super 10 club Reggio for the 2017/18 season.
The hooker, who can also play as an openside flanker, represented Italy at U18 level between 2009 and 2011.
Meanwhile, a deal was also struck for Greco, 22, to join the Wolfpack for one season.
Like Silvestri, Greco has played professional rugby in Italy, competing for Viadana in the Super 10 league and European Challenge Cup. He has also played for Methven Rugby Club in New Zealand.
And Tonni, who has had extensive experience playing and coaching at a professional level, will head the coaching for the club’s Junior Academy, the West Suffolk College rugby academy programme and the club’s community rugby programme.
As part of his full time role, he will oversee player transition from the academy into senior rugby. He moves from Italian Pro 12 club Alghero, where he was player development coach.
His experience also covers academy coaching and player recruitment for professional clubs’ Viadana and Aironi and he played professionally for Viadana between 2004 and 2010.
Head coach Jon Clarke said: “It’s great news that we’ve been able to agree deals for Federico and Daniele.
“They will both bring important skills and experience to the team, we need young and energetic guys and they both fit.
“It’s very exciting for the club.”
Both players will arrive to start pre-season training on July 1.
Speaking about Tonni joining the club, performance director Terry Sands said: “This appointment further supports our commitment to player development from youth to senior rugby.
“Dimitri has excellent experience both as a coach and as a top level rugby player and will be able to bring this knowledge and advice to our youngsters as they start their journey into senior rugby.”