Zebre strengthen playing roster

07/05/2020

Zebre is pleased to announce the contract extension of two of its foreign players, both having played for the club for the last two seasons.

 

They are New Zealand scrum-half Joshua Renton and the versatile English back Jamie Elliott. The two players will continue to bring their experience and talent to coach Bradley's side until at least June 30, 2021.

"They are two players who play in different roles, but who have had a very similar growth path - comments Zebre Rugby Club team manager Andrea De Rossi - "Elliott has shown himself in the English Premiership primarily as a winger, but I must say that once he arrived in Parma he proved to be an extremely flexible player, as well as very committed and professional. The same goes for Renton, who is also able to play in several positions on the field, such as fly-half which has already happened this year. He’s got a good technique, as well as speed of play and personality, so we liked him right from the start. We are pleased that both showed their willingness to continue their experience with Zebre Rugby Club".

Born and raised in Dunedin, New Zealand, Joshua Renton began playing rugby during his high school years, leading the Otago Boys' High School team as captain in his final year. The No. 9's professional career begins in 2013 when he signed with Otago, making his debut in the national championship Mitre 10 Cup.

After appearing in the 2014 World Rugby U20 Championship with the All Blacks, the New Zealander joined the Highlanders in 2015, earning a contract in Super Rugby. Between 2015 and 2017, Renton made 8 Super Rugby appearances with the team based in Dunedin, competing for the No. 9 jersey with world champion Aaron Smith and the Japanese international Fumiaki Tanaka, winning the title in 2016 and also facing the British & Irish Lions during their New Zealand tour in 2017.

In autumn 2018 the young scrum-half arrived in Parma, making his debut with Zebre in two competitions - the Guinness PRO14 and the Challenge Cup, collecting 31 official appearances and 3 tries to date.

"I'm excited to sign for another year with Zebre, a team that gave me the opportunity to compete in a great tournament, the Guinness PRO14" - says Joshua Renton - "So far it has been a good experience off the field as well: my teammates have been welcoming and helpful to me since my arrival. As a team, I think we have huge potential, which has been demonstrated after some good wins recently, so I can't wait to get back to training and to give continuity to the good work done so far".

Jamie Elliott grew up in the Academy of Northampton Saints, making his debut in the English Premiership in 2011 at the age of 18, scoring a try in his first game. In his eight seasons at Franklin's Garden, he made 155 appearances in the Premiership, Anglo-Welsh Cup, and European Cups.

The top try scorer at Saints in the 2012/13 season with 11 tries, the versatile back scored a total of 24 tries in the English top league in his 120 games played.

The young centre also became England's champion in 2013/14, winning the Challenge Cup in the same year.

In the summer of 2018 Elliott signed with Bedford Blues, the club of his hometown, playing in the Championship, the second tier in the English national league. On November 1, 2018, after 6 matches for Bedford, Elliott moved to Italy. In his two seasons in Parma, he has 34 appearances and scored 7 tries, 4 of which came this season; this figure makes Elliott second for tries this season, trailing compatriot Charlie Walker with 5.

The 27-year-old also took part in the 2011 U20 Six Nations, winning the Grand Slam title with England.

"It was an easy decision for me, as a team we're growing and finding more and more harmony on and off the pitch" – says Jamie Elliott – "I like life in Italy and playing for Zebre, it's a very expansive way of interpreting rugby that allows me to show off my skills as a player. I hope everyone in Italy is safe at this particular moment and I can't wait to see my team-mates again and start playing again with the club”.
 

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