Negri pens lengthy deal that will keep him in Italy until 2028

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PERGINE VALSUGANA, ITALY - JULY 07: Sebastian Negri of Italy trains during Italy Training Camp on July 07, 2023 in Pergine Valsugana, Italy. (Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Federugby via Getty Images)

London – Benetton have confirmed the contract extension of Zimbabwe-born Italian back row Sebastian Negri, who will be playing his rugby in Treviso until at least June 30, 2028.

The contract would have expired on June 30, 2025, but both parties have shaken hands for another five years.

Negri has become a cornerstone of Coach Marco Bortolami’s side.

Over the past years, he has established himself as one of the most consistent flankers on the international stage, showcasing his maturity while donning the “Leoni” jersey in the URC and on the European stage.

By the end of this contract, Negri will have completed 11 seasons at Treviso.

“I am happy to commit my long-term future to Benetton Rugby. I want to thank President Zatta, General Manager Pavanello, the staff, my teammates, and all the fans for their support. The club and the city hold a special place in my heart. I have already had extraordinary experiences at this club, but there is still much to accomplish, and I am determined to win more trophies and create more history here. I will continue to give my all to help the team reach the levels I know we are capable of, and I feel the same determination from the rest of the squad. Furthermore, I will continue to strive to be a role model both on and off the field. I am very excited about the future and look forward to creating more memories. Forza Leoni,” said Negri.

Born in Marondera, Zimbabwe, on June 30, 1994, Sebastian Luke Negri from Oleggio stands 195cm tall and weighs 113 kg.

Of Italian origins, Negri is a versatile forward who has shown ability on both as a fetcher and as a dominant tackler and carrier of the ball.

His journey in rugby began at the age of six at Springvale House School in Zimbabwe before relocating to South Africa, where he attended Clifton Nottingham School.

He later earned a sports scholarship to Hilton College.

At the age of 18, he joined the Academy of the South African Natal Sharks, eventually moving on to play in the Currie Cup after being offered a spot with Western Province.

Thanks to his Milanese father’s roots and his evident talent, Negri earned his first cap for the Italian national team at just 19 years old during the Junior World Cup in 2013.

After nine appearances for the U20 team, he continued his career with the Emerging Italy squad. On June 18, 2016, he earned his first two caps with the Italian senior team.

In the summer of 2017, the forward made his first move to Europe, donning the white and green colors of Benetton.

He has also become a pivotal player for Italy, participating in two matches during the 2019 World Cup in Japan and accumulating 46 caps for Italy to date.

The flanker has made 71 appearances for Benetton Rugby, scoring seven tries. He played a crucial role in securing the victory in the Rainbow Cup and the milestones achieved by Benetton Rugby, including reaching the Challenge Cup semifinals last April.

As one of the leaders in Marco Bortolami’s squad, Negri also featured in the prestigious World XV team against the Barbarians at Twickenham in May 2023, where he even scored a try.

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