Ricky Riccitelli heads home for Mitre 10 Cup
The Taranaki home-coming continues with Hurricanes hooker Ricky Riccitelli joining the Port Taranaki Bulls for the 2017 and 2018 Mitre 10 Cup seasons. Riccitelli joins his former Francis Douglas Memorial College school mates Logan Crowley and Jordie Barrett who also recently committed to the amber and blacks for the next two years.
Twenty-one-year old Riccitelli heads home following two seasons of Mitre 10 Cup rugby with Hawke’s Bay. The 1.82m and 110kg hooker is currently in his second season with the Hurricanes, with nine caps to his name to date.
Riccitelli said: “I’m very excited to head home and play for the Port Taranaki Bulls. I’ve always wanted to play for Taranaki and to give back in some way to a province that’s given so much to me. To be able to wear the amber and black jersey and play for my family, friends and the community is awesome. I’m also really excited to have a chance to be a part of the proud Taranaki Rugby legacy.”
Port Taranaki Bulls head coach Colin Cooper said the Union was thrilled to bring another local player back to don amber and black.
“It’s great to bring another local player home of Ricky’s calibre, who has both Super Rugby and Mitre 10 Cup experience. Our drive and vision as a Union is to continue attracting and retaining outstanding rugby players. A big part of that is bringing our locally grown players home like our recent signings in Ricky, Jordie Barrett and Logan Crowley to represent the Port Taranaki Bulls.
“We’re really pleased to have Ricky in the team following on from Rhys Marshall’s departure to Munster last year. It’s great to bring that experience in and have him fight it out for a starting spot alongside the strong group of players already here in Taranaki” said Cooper.
South African born Ricky Riccitelli moved with family to New Zealand at age four settling in Oakura, Taranaki. He attended Oakura Primary School and then completed his secondary schooling at Francis Douglas Memorial College. An exceptional sportsman, Riccitelli is equally adept on the cricket field as the rugby field. He spent four years in the FDMC 1st XI, representing various Taranaki age-grade teams including the Central Districts U19s side. Riccitelli played for the FDMC 1st XV for two years and in 2012 was named the FDMC Sportsman of the Year. Away from the sports field, the New Zealand Under 20s representative is studying towards a Bachelor of Science in Geology.
Mark the 14th of March in your diaries! That’s the day the 2017 Port Taranaki Bulls memberships go on sale. For more information please visit www.trfu.co.nz.