Paolo Odogwu, Former Wasps wing, makes it to Italy squad for Rugby World Cup 2023

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Paolo Odogwu, Former Wasps wing, makes it to Italy squad for Rugby World Cup 2023

Paolo Odogwu, Former Wasps wing, makes it to Italy squad for Rugby World Cup 2023


Paolo Odogwu, the former Wasps wing, has been selected to represent Italy in the upcoming Rugby World Cup 2023. This is a significant achievement for Odogwu, who has been making waves in the rugby world with his impressive performances. With his powerful running and exceptional skills, the inclusion of Odogwu in Italy’s squad is a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport. This article will delve into Odogwu’s rise to prominence, his selection for Italy, and the expectations surrounding his participation in the prestigious tournament.

History and Background

Paolo Odogwu was born on February 24, 1997, in Coventry, England. His Nigerian heritage adds to his cultural background and has influenced his playing style, bringing a unique flair to his game. Odogwu’s rugby journey began at the age of six when he joined the Barkers Butts RFC Mini & Juniors section. He quickly gained recognition for his skills and was soon scouted by the prestigious London Wasps Academy.

Early Career at Wasps

Odogwu made his debut for the Wasps in 2016. Initially, he struggled to establish himself in the first team, facing fierce competition from more experienced players. However, his determination and persistent efforts did not go unnoticed, and Odogwu gradually began to make his mark on the pitch. He impressed many with his blistering pace, evasive footwork, and ability to break through defensive lines.

Breakout Season

In the 2020-2021 season, Odogwu truly shined and had a breakout performance. He finished the season as the top try scorer in the Premiership, showcasing his incredible attacking abilities. His performances earned him the Wasps’ Player of the Season award and made him a standout contender for international selection.

Selection for Italy

Odogwu’s outstanding performances did not go unnoticed by the Italian national team selectors. In May 2023, he received his first call-up to the Italy squad for the Rugby World Cup 2023. This was a significant milestone in his career, as he became eligible to represent Italy through his maternal grandfather, who was of Italian descent.

The Impact of Odogwu’s Selection

Odogwu’s selection for the Italian squad created a buzz within the rugby community. Many recognized his immense talent and believed that he would bring a fresh dimension to the team’s attacking play. His explosive pace and ability to break tackles make him a dangerous weapon in Italy’s arsenal. His inclusion also reflects the growing diversity within international rugby and the recognition of talent regardless of cultural background.

Italy’s World Cup Prospects

With Odogwu’s inclusion, Italy hopes to create a formidable team for the Rugby World Cup 2023. The Azzurri have traditionally faced tough competition in their pool, often against heavyweight nations such as New Zealand, South Africa, and England. However, the squad’s balance of experienced players and rising stars like Odogwu provides optimism for a strong showing and the opportunity to cause some upsets.

Expectations and Challenges

Odogwu’s selection for the Rugby World Cup 2023 comes with great expectations and challenges. As a young player on the international stage, he will face intense scrutiny and pressure to perform. The Rugby World Cup demands the highest level of skill, athleticism, and mental fortitude. Odogwu will need to adapt quickly to the demands of international rugby and prove that he can make a significant impact on the world stage.

Adapting to International Rugby

While Odogwu has already proven himself at the club level, international rugby presents a different level of competition. The pace and physicality of the game are elevated, and the pressure to perform under scrutiny is immense. Odogwu will need to adjust his game accordingly and continue to develop his skills to excel on the international stage.

Building Chemistry with Teammates

Another challenge Odogwu will face is building chemistry with his Italian teammates. International squads come together from various clubs and often have limited time to develop cohesion and understanding on the field. Odogwu will need to quickly build rapport with his teammates to ensure effective teamwork and coordination during matches.


The selection of Paolo Odogwu for the Italy squad in the Rugby World Cup 2023 is a testament to his talent, hard work, and dedication to the sport. Having impressed many with his performances at Wasps, Odogwu now has the opportunity to showcase his skills on the world stage. The inclusion of such a dynamic and exciting player in Italy’s squad adds a new dimension to their attacking play and reflects the increasing diversity within international rugby. As Odogwu prepares for the World Cup, the rugby world eagerly awaits his performances and hopes for a successful tournament for both the player and the Italian team.


1. When is the Rugby World Cup 2023 taking place?

The Rugby World Cup 2023 is scheduled to take place from September 8th to October 21st, 2023.

2. Which other players have made similar switches to represent other countries?

There have been several instances of players switching allegiances to represent different countries in international rugby. Some notable examples include Bundee Aki representing Ireland, Samu Kerevi representing Australia, and Ben Te’o representing England after playing for New Zealand and Samoa.

3. What are Italy’s past performances in the Rugby World Cup?

Italy has participated in every Rugby World Cup since the tournament’s inception in 1987. However, they have struggled to advance beyond the group stages and have never reached the quarterfinals. The Italian team will be hoping to make a significant impact in the upcoming tournament with the inclusion of talented players like Paolo Odogwu.[3]

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