Paolo Odogwu, born on February 18, 1997, is a professional rugby union player known for his exceptional speed and agility. He primarily plays as a winger and currently represents Benetton Rugby in the United Rugby Championship.
Odogwu's rugby journey began during his time at King Edward's School Birmingham and Walsall RFC, where he initially played various positions, including prop and number 8. However, due to his remarkable speed, he transitioned to playing in the centres and on the wing.
He spent his academy years at Leicester Tigers, where he made a memorable impression by scoring a spectacular try in Marcos Ayerza's testimonial match. In 2016, he joined Sale Sharks after being released by Leicester.
Odogwu gained significant recognition after his outstanding performances for Sale in the Aviva Premiership Singha 7s tournament. He set a new record by scoring 8 tries in the group stage, surpassing the previous record set by Christian Wade. This achievement earned him the man of the round award.
He made his senior debut for Sale Sharks in September 2016 against Harlequins, displaying impressive footwork, pace, and power. In the following month, he scored his first try for the club against his former team, Leicester.
After spending three seasons at Sale Sharks and making 29 first-team appearances, Odogwu moved to Wasps for the 2019-20 season. He continued to showcase his try-scoring prowess, contributing 6 tries for the team in the Premiership 7s tournament.
Odogwu's form remained strong, and he earned his first man of the match award in a thrilling victory against Bath. In January 2021, he was called up to the England senior test team for the Six Nations tournament. However, he did not make his test debut during the competition.
In October 2022, Odogwu signed with French Top 14 side Stade Français until the end of the season. His performances and versatility have earned him recognition not only at the club level but also at the international level.
Odogwu, who has Nigerian and Italian heritage, represented England at the under-18 and under-20 levels. However, he was subsequently named in Italy's training squad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, highlighting his eligibility to represent Italy due to his Italian roots.
Ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023, Odogwu has been named in the squad for Italy.
|2023 - present
|2016 - 2017
|2017 - 2018
|2016 - 2019
|2021 - 2021
|2019 - 2022
|2022 - 2023
|2023 - 2024