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Italy hero Mbanda welcomes first child

Italy hero Mbanda welcomes first child

Italy hero Mbanda welcomes first child

Italy international Maxime Mbanda has announced the birth of his first child.

The 28-year-old flanker took to Instagram on Monday to welcome the new addition to his family, positing a picture of him holding his son next to his partner in hospital.

In the post, Mbanda wrote: “A name that in your language of origin, the Congolese Lingala, means “Firstborn”, an important name for your maternal roots and a name whose initial recalls that of your paternal grandparents and which I hope will reflect your character.

“Welcome and good luck for your future: Mata Leone Mbandà.”

The birth of his son caps off a busy couple of days for Mbanda, who started for Italy in their 36-5 defeat to France in the Autumn Nations Cup on Saturday.

 

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Mbanda has won 24 caps for his country since making his debut in 2016 and has been included again in Franco Smith’s training squad for their Finals Weekend clash with Wales in Llanelli.

This year also saw Mbanda receive one of his country’s highest awards for his contribution to those in need during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Back in March, Mbanda swapped the back row for the frontline by volunteering as an ambulance driver in Parma to help those in need during the height of the pandemic after getting in touch with the Yellow Cross.

Wearing a mask and protective suit, he joined other volunteers in Emilia-Romagna, one of the areas in Italy most affected by the virus, to assist the elderly and vulnerable.

Mbanda was volunteering up to 17 hours a day during the height of the pandemic, transporting patients to and from hospital after initially delivering masks, food and prescriptions.

He was subsequently given the Knights of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic medal and certificate for his endeavours during the early stages of the pandemic in spring.

And following the birth of his new-born son, Mbanda will look to finish a memorable year on and off the pitch on a high with Italy as they take on Wales in the Autumn Nations Cup 5th/6th play-off.

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