Italian job for Varney
A WEST Wales youngster is starring for Italy in the Under-18 Six Nations Rugby Festival which is taking place in England.
Stephen Lorenzo Varney from the hamlet of Rhoshill, a few miles south of Cardigan, is a sports science student at Hartpury College in Gloucester and a member of Gloucester Rugby Club Academy.
He is the youngest player ever in the English Championship, appearing for Hartpury College RFC against Bedford Blues and Cornish Pirates, and his outstanding performances brought him to the attention of the Italian Rugby Federation, who capped him against France when he scored a try on his debut.
Italy have forged close links with Gloucester RFC, who include in their squad Jake Polledri, Seb Negri and Callum Braley.
Varney qualifies for Italy through his mother Valerie, who is Italian, and the Azzurri were quick to snap him up. He has been training in Italy in the runup to the Six Nations event.
Varney’s father Adrian, a lecturer at Coleg Ceredigion in Cardigan, was an openside flanker with Neath from 1987 to 1994.
Gloucester Academy manager and England Under-20s coach Richard Wiffin said: “Stephen has excelled in his development, his excellent skill and vision to see space making him one of our standout academy players,
“I have no doubt that his desire and commitment will see him develop into a top professional.”
Stephen Lorenzo Varney.