Zebre’s players need not look far to find motivation for their Pro14 encounter with Glasgow Warriors in Parma.

Their large contingent of Italy players have the chance to avenge their opening-day Six Nations defeat to Scotland at club level, while the Italian side are still looking for their first win of 2019.

However, flanker Jimmy Tuivaiti has an extra incentive to conquer the Scots - gaining marital bragging rights.

Tuivaiti’s wife, Cathrine, represents another of Glasgow’s major sporting names, Netball Superleague side Sirens, and the 31-year-old admitted he would relish the chance to get one over his other half’s adopted hometown.


READ MORE: Assistant coach Jason O'Halloran reckons injuries can be “blessing” for Glasgow's wounded Warriors

He told Herald Sport: “Personally I would love to beat Glasgow, because me and my wife joke behind closed doors about her city playing my city and I’d love to just rock up home after a game and have a smirk on my face.”

The trials of a long-distance relationship – roughly 1240 miles separates Parma from Glasgow – aren’t new to the couple, as Jimmy first arrived in Italy in 2015 and Cathrine only moved to the northern hemisphere towards the end of 2018.

Tuivaiti explains they were “training for this moment” while constantly travelling for games in their native New Zealand, although the back-row admits their current situation has taken its toll on his bank account.

“I’ve been to and from Glasgow for the last three or four months,” he said.

“I’ve spent so much money on flights going to and from there. When we played Glasgow at the start of the season that was her first week there, so we chilled out and got to see a bit of the city together before she settled in.

“She has got to know the city really well and her team-mates, she’s loving it there."


READ MORE: Bill Mata set to be joined by more Islanders in Edinburgh after agreeing new deal

He added: “We never thought in a million years we’d be earning our keep doing what we love on the other side of the world, but we’re here now and we make it work. It’s tough but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Tuivaiti certainly has made it work, as since joining Calvisano three years ago he has progressed to the Pro14 with Zebre and is now a full Italy international and started in last weekend’s Six Nations defeat to Ireland.

While it is tempting to focus on the international scene during a fallow week, Tuivaiti has adjusted his focus to league duties and urged greater focus from his side as they look to record their first league win since Edinburgh’s visit to Parma on 26 October.

“It’s just about trying to apply pressure for 80 mins,” he said.

“Against teams like Glasgow, Leinster, Munster, you can’t afford to let off the pressure even for five minutes.

“What we’re trying to approach Glasgow with is keeping constant pressure on them and playing Zebre rugby, which is open, to play rugby from everywhere, which is what we’ve been trying to do all season.

“It’s proving a bit tough at the moment but hopefully we can string it together and get a home win.”